A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by “Rise of the Moors” accusing the Massachusetts State Police and various news organizations of defamation and discrimination over their arrests following an armed standoff.
On July 3 the Massachusetts State Police were engaged in an hours-long stalemate that led to the arrest of 11 heavily armed individuals on an interstate highway, Law Officer reported at the time.
From Law Officer’s July 3 article:
According to the State Police, a trooper saw two vehicles in the breakdown lane around 1:30 a.m. Several people were present and appeared to be refueling the vehicles, Boston 25 News reported.
The trooper stopped to assist and noticed the individuals — later determined to be 11 men — wearing tactical, military-style uniforms.
The trooper asked to see their driver’s licenses and gun licenses.
“The individuals indicated that they had neither, or they did not have them on their person,” MSP Col. Christopher Mason said.
During the encounter, the men fled into the nearby woods off Route 95/128, Fox News reported.
“Some had slung long rifles, some hard firearms, pistols, and some had a combination of both,” Mason said.
The men identified themselves as part of a group called “Rise of the Moors,” according to State Police. Although the group says they are not a sovereign citizen organization, Mason said they are a group that “does not recognize our laws.”
“Their self-professed leader wanted it very much known their ideology is not anti-government,” Mason said. “Our investigation will provide us more insight into what their motivation, what their ideology is.”
The standoff ended about 10:30 a.m. when all of the suspects eventually surrendered.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. on Tuesday threw out the lawsuit brought by the self-described Moorish American National organization and 10 of the men arrested in the roadside encounter. The federal court said it is prohibited under longstanding policy and court precedent from interfering in state court proceedings, The Providence Journal reported.
Federal courts must abstain from preventing the state from “carrying out the important and necessary task of enforcing laws against socially harmful conduct the State believes in good faith to be punishable under its laws and the Constitution,” McConnell wrote, citing 1971 case law.
The ruling concludes the lawsuit alleging defamation, discrimination based on national origin, and deprivation of their rights under the color of law against Massachusetts State Police; the judge overseeing their criminal cases, Malden District Court Judge Emily A. Karstetter; and various media outlets, the Journal reported.