Sovereign Citizens Now Consist of All Colors and Creeds
The case made headlines last fall in the midst of the Ferguson unrest.
Two men with ties to the New Black Panther Party were charged with acquiring weapons in what was later revealed to be a plot to kill two public officials and blow up a police station.
The two pleaded guilty in June and will be sentenced Thursday in federal court in St. Louis. And in a lesser-known twist, one of the African-American defendants is an adherent of a movement that has its origins in racist and anti-Semitic beliefs.
Olajuwon Ali Davis is a “Moorish national” — an offshoot of the sovereign citizen movement.
Experts and authorities say the case illustrates the changing face of the movement, whose members believe the government is corrupt and out of control and has no jurisdiction over them.
While today’s movement remains largely white and still has some followers with racist leanings, a surge in the number of nonwhite sovereign citizens is underway across the country. And the biggest growth, experts say, is within an African-American branch called Moorish sovereigns, which is disseminating its ideas to a whole new batch of recruits.