You are hereTalking Points Memo: The Strange Case Of The Birther OathKeeper — Who Tried To Take Over A Courthouse — Heads To Trial

Talking Points Memo: The Strange Case Of The Birther OathKeeper — Who Tried To Take Over A Courthouse — Heads To Trial

-by Jillian Rayfield

October 18, 2011- On Tuesday, Georgia OathKeeper Darren Huff will begin his trial for an alleged attempt to take over a Tennessee courthouse and conduct citizens arrests on local judges and officers.

Huff’s troubles began in April 2010, when Walter Francis Fitzpatrick was arrested in Madisonville, Tennessee for attempting to conduct a citizens’ arrest on Monroe County Grand Jury Foreman Gary Pettway. “I’m charging you with official misconduct,” Fitzpatrick told Pettway. “I’m placing you under arrest. You must now come with me.” Fitzpatrick was charged with inciting a riot, disrupting an official public meeting, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Beforehand, Fitzpatrick, who is a leader of the birther and Patriot group American Grand Jury, had written up 24 citizens’ arrest warrants for officials at the federal, state and local levels, calling them “domestic enemies” and describing President Obama as an “illegal alien, infiltrator and impostor.” His grievance with Pettway, it seems, was that Pettway would not agree to convene a grand jury to investigate the AGC’s belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen.

Fitzpatrick’s allies called for supporters to storm the courthouse and conduct their own citizens’ arrests in retaliation for Fitzpatrick’s arrest, and Huff — carrying a Colt .45 and an AK-47 — responded to the request.

Huff, a former U.S. Naval officer from Georgia and a member of the OathKeepers, made his way to the courthouse on April 20, 2010, the day Fitzpatrick was supposed to stand trial.



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