Hells Angels

"Sons of Hell" Bikers Claim Cops Treat Them Like Gangsters for Being Pals With Hells Angels

A motorcycle club called the "Sons of Hell" is suing several Arizona law enforcement agencies, alleging multiple violations of their constitutional rights.

The bikers claim in a federal lawsuit that cops treat them as a gang "based solely on their associations and friendships with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club."

New Times has covered several incidents of Hells Angels high jinks over the years; their definition of "club" is a little different from the fellows who gather at your neighborhood Elks Lodge, but they too contest the "gang" label.

But the Sons of Hell have an incident that purportedly proves unfair treatment by law enforcement.

Back in the summer of 2011, the Sons of Hell and other clubs were at the "Too Broke for Sturgis" rally at a campground near Mormon Lake, south of Flagstaff.

During this, a man named Christian Tejada -- who wasn't related in any way to the Sons of Hell -- killed two people and himself at the campground.

The bikers allege that a couple of hours after this, officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission task force, and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office "forcibly removed Plaintiffs from their residences with assault rifles and other firearms" at their camping spots.

"During the invasion, Plaintiffs were handcuffed forced to lay on the cold ground, detained and imprisoned for longer than three hours (some partially or mostly naked), photographed, forced to answer questions in interrogation, forced to reveal their tattoos for further photography, mocked, otherwise humiliated, yelled at, and threatened with violence by Defendants, under color of their authority as police officers," the lawsuit alleges.

They allege multiple constitutional violations, including their First Amendment right to assembly, their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unwarranted searches and seizures, among other claims.

Each of the individual Sons of Hell members listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit is seeking $75,000, in addition to attorneys' fees.

The Sons of Hell, a Yuma-based club, did attempt this lawsuit before, but a judge ordered it to be dismissed after it appeared that the previous attorney abandoned the case.

The club was also one of the groups that lobbied in favor of a bill at the state legislature to prevent cops from profiling bikers. That bill didn't pass.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley