Gavin Eugene Long, the ex-Marine who fatally shot three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, filed court records last year in Kansas City in which he declared himself a sovereign citizen.
Long filed a “live claim birth” and “name correction” in Jackson County in which he identified himself as an indigenous member of the United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur Nation, the documents show. The court records were published Sunday by the Kansas City Star.
Earlier this year, several members of the Washitaw Nation were arrested in New Orleans after occupying a house in the Bywater neighborhood without permission. The four people were taken into custody in February in the 3400 block of North Rampart Street and booked on trespassing counts after the property owner complained to the authorities that the group had been "squatting" in his vacation home.
The group apparently posted a "no trespassing" sign in front of the property that made reference to the "Washitah Mu'ur."
"No one should be able to move into someone else’s house and take it over,” Michael Harrison, the New Orleans police superintendent, said at the time. “We’re not going to allow anybody to terrorize any citizen in this city.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has said the Washitaw Nation is comprised of black separatists claiming to be descended from pre-Columbian inhabitants of North America. The group asserts that it is independent from the authority of local, state and federal laws.
Long, in his Kansas City court filings, referred to the "laws of my indigenous society," and purported to change his name with "non-obligatory respect for the laws of the United States of America."
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He changed his name in the filings to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra, the alias he used online as an author, “life coach” and, most recently, a prolific poster of anti-police rhetoric.
Long became increasingly outspoken in the days following the controversial police shooting of Alton Sterling, and he apparently traveled to Dallas just days after five police officers were fatally shot there.
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