Contrary to a social media firestorm, the Casper Police Department has not banned motorcyclists wearing jackets with patches during their parade on Saturday, its spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"We are not banning them in any way, shape or form," Rebekah Ladd said.

Every May, the local ABATE organization sponsors a major motorcycle ride to mark motorcycle awareness month because the weather is getting more pleasant and more bikers will be on the road, Ladd said.

"As part of that, the PD wants to protect them as they are going through town; I think they typically expect up to 400 bikers to participate in this parade," she said, adding the department will provide an escort.

The department had requested, but by no mean mandated, that bikers not wear patches or insignia identifying organizational affiliations so the ride could speak for itself as a safety-promoting event, Ladd said.

"It was in no way a stipulation of any kind," she said. "It was something that we just wanted to throw out there to say, 'hey, this is something we're thinking might be a good idea; what do you think?"

ABATE and a lot of bikers didn't think it was a good idea at all, according to comments on social media starting Tuesday night.

Some commenters said they would wear whatever they wanted; asked whether the ban applied to military or any other patches; asked whether this would apply to all parades; said they would video-record all interactions between bikers and law enforcement; cited the U.S. Constitution; ridiculed government; and encouraged bikers to voice their dismay at the next City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

One commenter wrote that people should find out the truth before organizing a lynch mob.

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