FL ‘sovereign citizen’ names imaginary nation to claim ‘diplomatic immunity’ from traffic laws
A Florida woman claiming to be “Moorish” and having “diplomatic immunity” was arrested late last month on traffic charges.
Police said 32-year-old Janine McCune was speeding and talking on a cell phone when officers stopped her in Orland Park.
Officers said the woman claimed her name was Ramsieyh S. Rael but was unable to produce a driver’s license or current insurance information, reported Orland Park Patch.
She told officers she had been talking to her mother on the phone, and police said license information for Rael showed a suspension for insurance violations.
However, police said the woman claimed to have no knowledge of the infractions.
Officers took the woman into custody but noticed she was no longer wearing a work name tag clipped to her shirt as she was placed into the squad car.
“I asked her where they were at,” the arresting officer wrote in a report. “She indicated she never had anything clipped to her. This information made me suspicious that Ramsieyh may not be truthful.”
Police spotted her work identification inside her car showing the name Janine McCune, to whom the Ford Focus was registered.
But police said McCune insisted her name was Ramsieyh and claimed “Moorish and diplomatic immunity.”
That’s an apparent reference to teachings by the Moorish Science Temple of America, whose followers have been implicated in real estate and other fraud schemes.
The group attracts black followers to the “sovereign citizens” movement, an anti-government ideology with foundational ties to white supremacy.
Moorish Science teaches that black “Moors” were the original inhabitants of the U.S. and are entitled to “self-governing, nation-within-a-nation status,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Moorish adherents, like others in the loosely organized movement, have filed nuisance lawsuits and claim U.S., state, and local laws do not apply to them, citing obscure legal principles and historic treaties as their justification.
Police said McCune eventually admitted Janine was her birth name, and officers found her license had been revoked for drunken driving-related offenses.
Her car was towed, and McCune was charged with driving on a revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, talking on a cell phone while driving, and speeding.