CBS News reports: Kansas City native Gavin Eugene Long, who died on his 29th birthday on Sunday after ambushing and killing three Baton Rouge police officers, said in online postings that he didn’t want to be affiliated with any group.
Long was, however, a member of a group involved in the sovereign citizen movement.
Since 2011, the FBI has considered sovereign citizens “a growing domestic threat to law enforcement.” In a bulletin, the agency wrote that they consider “sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement.”
Simply put, sovereign citizens believe themselves to be above the law of the land. Their reasons vary, but they don’t believe they have to do things like pay taxes or respect law enforcement officials, because in their minds all governments are operating illegally.
The movement’s most high-profile member to date has been Terry Nichols, the accomplice in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
According to the Kansas City Star, Baton Rouge shooter Long “declared himself a sovereign in records filed with the Jackson County recorder of deeds last year.”
Specifically, Long said he was a member of the Washitaw Nation of Mu’urs. J.J. MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, told the Star that the group believe themselves to be native of the North American continent and therefore about the laws of any country, state, or city. [Continue reading…]