A Pawtucket, RI man who claims that as a Moor he is exempt from American law is suing the state over what he alleges is his false imprisonment after failing to show his license to a police officer who asked him why he was stopped on the side of Rte. 3 north of Boston one February night.
A possible probation violation on a past gun charge out of Stoughton might also have had something to do with the arrest of Rashad Bey, also known as Anthony Guess, but in a court filing, Bey says that shouldn't have mattered, either, because Article 20 of a still active 1786 treaty between the US and Morocco exempts him from all American criminal charges save murder.
Earlier today, State Police took into custody 11 alleged Moorish sovereign citizens, allegedly armed to the gills with guns on their way from Rhode Island to Maine, following a standoff on Rte. 128.
In his handwritten suit, Bey claims he was heading from Pawtucket to Lowell for his grandmother's funeral, when his car suffered a flat tire and he pulled over on Rte 3, as did his brother and his brother's wife, traveling in a separate car. He claims he found a tire shop at the next exit that would fix the flat and they were slowly making their way down the breakdown lane when a police officer, or "highwayman," pulled up behind them.
Bey does not specify where exactly he was stopped, but says the "highwayman's" name was Welby and that things went downhill after the officer asked for his license.
I told Mr. Welby that I don't have my license because I'm traveling and that I have registration and insurance to my car as well as my [Moorish] national identification card. ...
State troopers soon arrived, Bey says he was arrested and taken to the Concord barracks.
He says he made bail by paying a hostile bondsman 40 "federal reserve notes" and went to Woburn District Court the morning of Feb. 12 - even though he knew that would make him miss his grandmother's funeral. He acknowledges he refused repeated efforts by the judge to talk to a court-appointed attorney, writing he is well versed in the Constitution, "United States law and United States Supreme Court case law," all of which he said say he should be released immediately because there was "no alleged witness or no injured party making a claim against me."
The judge disagreed and, Bey says, threw him in jail, where he claims he was languishing as of March 9, when he filed the suit, which seeks his release and those 50 million federal reserve notes. He says he was finally released on May 12.
In a separate filing, on a form normally used to move a case from state to federal court, Bey expounds that as a Moor, he is not "a 14th amendment citizen" of the "U.S. Corporation company," not any other sort of US citizen. He claims this claim is backed by Congressional action on June 12, 1967, that the 14th Amendment is unconstitutional and that the government has no "personam jurisdiction" over Moors and other non-citizens so any cases have to be tried in either international or consular court or in federal court with the presence of a Moroccan diplomat.
Bey does not specify exactly what Congress did that day. However, on June 12, 1967, John Rarick, a Louisiana congressman and prominent racist and anti-Semite, gave a speech on the floor of the House demanding that the 14th Amendment, which formally freed the slaves, be declared unconstitutional. It was not. Why did Rarick, who claimed he had nothing against freeing the slaves, chose that day for his speech? Because that morning, in the Loving case, the Supreme Court ruled the 14th Amendment was a living document and that it meant state laws against mixed-race marriages were unconstitutional.
Bey signed the document as:
A Free Moorish American national and citizen of the free National Government of Morocco, I am, Rashad Bey. In honor of my Moabite ancestors to time immemorial, exercising the Diving and Common-Law-Right to Jus Posliminii, in accord with the high principles of Love, Truth Peace, Freedom and Justice.
Jus posliminii is an old legal concept that a falsely accused defendant has the right to recompense. What Bey calls "the free National Government of Morocco," the Southern Poverty Law Center calls an extremist group, one whose members not only try to flout federal, state and local law but has at times resorted to murder.
In June, US District Court Judge Allison Burroughs dismissed the case because Bey had not paid the required $400 filing fee. However, she agreed to re-open it on Thursday after Bey filed a request to proceed in pauperis via a form on which he claimed to have no income, although he does own an Acura TL worth 7,000 "federal reserve notes" and pays 850 "federal reserve notes" in rent each month. He says he owes his family for loans they have given him.