Blurry Lines Between Bikers, Police Clubs Draw Concern

Jun 8, 2015

Motorcycle weekend in New Hampshire


Police officers and outlaw biker gangs often stand on common ground. Both attract the young and adventurous who value order and brotherhood. And tens of thousands of cops belong to legitimate motorcycle clubs.

But some within law enforcement worry that too many officers believe bikers are misunderstood and say that empathy can put police or the public at risk.

The relationship between police and biker gangs came into focus after the May 17 shootout involving rival motorcycle gang members, including a retired San Antonio police officer, that left nine dead in Waco, Texas.

After the shootings, social media blazed with suspicions that police went easy on the bikers, even though police fired some of the shots.

A 2014 report prepared by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms notes that biker gangs count working police officers among their members.