A Hells Angels member from Calgary has claimed that police bullied Lethbridge businesses in an effort to stop a gathering in the city last month.
Randall Irons told The Calgary Sun that cops went too far in notifying bar owners that an estimated 150 members would meet there the weekend of Aug. 22.
"When they do that, they’re no longer being a police force, they’re overstepping their bounds," he said.
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) spokesman Mike Tucker told The Lethbridge Herald that it notified hotels, a catering company and bars as to the Hells Angels' plans in an effort to "disrupt their activities."
"They had a banquet planned. We made them aware that group was the Hells Angels. They were unaware it was them, as the bookings were under a different name," Tucker said.
Businesses cancelled the organization's bookings when they found out who was really involved.
Tucker said police are allowed to remove Hells Angels members from businesses under the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Act. They can even eject people who aren't members, but are still wearing the gang's insignia.
"A lot of people may not be part of the gang but think it's cool to wear their clothing," he said.
"The reality is this [Hells Angels] is a criminal group that has been before the courts on some very serious charges."
Hells Angels members later met in Red Deer and may still try to plan events in Lethbridge in future, the Sun reported.
ALERT's actions came months after six Hells Angels members were arrested following a series of raids around Edmonton, Global News reported.
They also seized 19 vests signifying membership in the gang, two handguns and 26 pounds of marijuana.
It was the first time that members of the organization had faced charges of organized crime in the province.
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