Arizona motorcyclists have apparently lost out in a bid to get special protection from potential police harassment.
On a tie vote, the Senate on Thursday killed legislation which would have required that police officer training include courses that "emphasize the prohibition against motorcycle profiling.'' The vote came despite the pleadings of Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West.
"It's kind of frustrating when you're pulled over and someone points a gun at you,'' she told colleagues. Burges conceded she hasn't witnessed that herself but has been told by riders that happens.
SB 1086 would have mandated that officers be training that "the sole fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia'' is not, by itself, the basis to stop, question or search someone.
Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said there already are plenty of court rulings that spell out when police officers can use "profiles'' of suspected lawbreakers to stop them. And he said police officers in learn about those standards during their training.
He said there is no reason to single out special mention of certain groups that are entitled to special mention.
"How 'bout persons who wear military uniforms?'' Yarbrough asked. "Certainly they ought to be included as a protected class.''
Ditto for young people.
"Or what about little old ladies with grey hair?'' he continued.
"I are one of those little old ladies with grey hair,'' Burges quipped in response. And she said a similar anti-profiling training requirement adopted by the state of Washington works "very well.''