Charity run participant claims police harassment
By KELLI DOWNEYkelli@gladstoneobserver.com.au
CLAIMS of police harassment and discrimination have surfaced following the Black Uhlan's charity bike and car poker run.
Participant John Walker is calling for an public apology from Gladstone Police after what he claims was a "disgusting overkill of police discrimination, harassment and bullying'' last Saturday.
Mr Walker, who has no connections with the local outlaw motorcycle gang, has claimed participants were pulled over by officers for licence checks and breath testing for the entirety of the run.
He said these tactics started before the run began in Gladstone and followed participants to Tannum Sands, Calliope, Many Peaks and back to Gladstone.
"Can the Gladstone Police explain why we had persons pulled over all along the way being asked for driver's licences, phone numbers, addresses and then questioned 'if they have been in trouble with the police in town'?'' Mr Walker said.
Mr Walker, who also participates in the annual Gladstone Ulysses Motorcycle Club Christmas Toy Run for under-privileged children, said he could not see why there should be any difference between the two charity runs.
He said the latter was offered police escorts, although it involved many of the same people.
Gladstone Police Acting Senior Sergeant Mike Dixon said while there was a visible police presence, there was no hindrance to the ride.
Sgt Dixon said there was interceptions of both motor vehicles and motorcycles on that particular day for a variety of offences committed.
"While we did monitor the ride because of the large numbers involved and there was a few isolated stops during the progress of it, most did occur before its commencement,'' Acting Snr Sgt Dixon said.
"These stops did not disrupt the ride in any way.