A sovereign man and his sovereign pickup truck

A Georgia man and some of his pals failed completely in their attempt to perform a citizen's arrest on members of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, even though he said sovereign citizen magic words, cited several statutes by number, and commanded police to take them into custody. It's almost as if nobody recognized his authoriteh.

During the comment period of the board meeting, Carl Swensson, leader of an imaginary body he calls the "Clayton County Citizen’s Oversight Committee," took the lectern and informed several county officials they were under arrest, including District Attorney Tracy Graham-Lawson and three commissioners. He didn't specify exactly what charges they were supposedly being arrested on, apart from saying they'd violated their oaths of office. He and his associates even posted a YouTube video of the drama!

Before Swensson took his turn at the lectern to arrest the commission members, an associate, Paul Nally, announced the totally official arrest warrant for the D.A., for unspecified offenses. Nally explained (for a certain value of "explain"), “This is what happens when public officials ignore the rights, privileges and immunities of citizens.” To our great disappointment, he did not then pull out a baseball bat and begin smashing up a Corvette. These guys have no idea what makes for an entertaining video.

Swensson then took his turn and soberly announced,

I’m here to invoke my absolute and guaranteed rights to also effect a citizen’s arrest...It is also incumbent on the peace officers to now take them into custody. This meeting should officially be over because you guys have been in violation on the fact you still hold state money.

Swensson then let the police officers know that it was their solemn duty to take the offenders into custody:

I command peace officers here, right now, to come and take possession. If you do not, then you are in violation of your oath of office and you are in violation of all that is sacred to everybody here in this county. Please do not hesitate, please do your job, please take custody right now. We need resolution. We’re not getting it at the national level and we only have the local level to deal with. Do your job: Come take possession of the arrestees.

Strangely, the cops in the room did not rush forward to clap the offending officials in irons so they could face whatever justice Swensson figured he needed to dispense, so he announced "I am finished!" and stormed off.

This country really has experienced a breakdown in law and order. Swensson, after all, has his very own website featuring his special magically capitalized and punctuated Sovereign Citizen name (carl -alfred: Swensson) which marks him as a free man and not property of the United States of America corporation, and also explains he leads the "Henry County Common Law Grand Jury" and helped organize the "American Grand Jury":

If that's not official, we don't know what is! After Swensson and his whipped posse left the hearing room, they were warned by Clayton County Police Chief Michael Register that the only arrests that would be happening that evening would be of Swensson and party if they attempted to re-enter the commission chamber, and that they'd be "charged with assault if they attempted to perform the arrests themselves." So yes, the cops know how these loons operate.

Later, commissioners dared to joke about the very serious goings-on. According to the local paper, while moving on to the business of discussing pay raises for several members of the District Attorney's office, commissioner Michael Edmondson asked if D.A. Graham-Lawson's new status as a criminal would affect the proposal:

“Is this still necessary now that she’s been arrested?” Edmondson said after making a motion for approval for the scale change. “Can I make that motion since I was also arrested?”

Many in the chamber erupted in laughter at the joke.

It is no joke, Mr. Criminal! The video Swensson posted to YouTube Wednesday includes an important note: Even though the police didn't do their duty, everyone is still under arrest and awaiting trial before an unspecified "Magistrate."

So there! Eat Justice!

Yr Wonkette assumes county officials and law enforcement are providing extra security to the folks targeted by the "Clayton County Citizen’s Oversight Committee," given the tendency of these idiots to occasionally mount armed assaults on county buildings or to try to "arrest" officials by force -- almost exactly two years ago, in nearby Forsyth County, a sovereign moran drove an SUV up the steps of the county courthouse in what appeared to be a failed attempt to take hostages, and died in a gunfight with deputies. These guys are hilarious when they're talking in court, and far less funny when they get it into their heads that more direct action is needed.

[Clayton News-Daily via RawStory]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Well, goddamn it, a wonderful person we'd never heard of until last night is dead. Lyra McKee was 29, an investigative journalist who specialized in looking at the legacy of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. She was murdered by someone shooting at police during rioting in Derry, or perhaps Londonderry, depending on who you want to piss off by using either name for the city. The rioting broke out after police "started carrying out searches in the area because of concerns that militant republicans were storing firearms and explosives" in advance of attacks planned to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Police are blaming the violence and McKee's death on the "New Irish Republican Army," a radical republican group formed a few years ago from several smaller groups. Despite the name, the group has no ties to the old Provisional Irish Republican Army, which renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supposed to have brought peace to Northern Ireland, and kind of did, at least much of the time.

McKee is being remembered by colleagues and readers as a promising journalist who was expected to go far. A year ago, McKee signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber; the first of the books, The Lost Boys, an investigation of eight young men who disappeared in Belfast during the Troubles in the '60s and '70s, will be published next year. A 2016 Forbes profile said "McKee's passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about." For instance, CNN reports, McKee spent five years investigating a story about the only rape crisis center in Northern Ireland and its long struggle to regain funding after the government eliminated it.

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