Indianapolis News and Headlines


'Sovereign citizen' accused of attempted murder of officers trying to serve eviction notice

Posted at 12:30 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 21:21:53-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A “sovereign citizen” who previously filed an $11 billion lawsuit against the city of Indianapolis was arrested Monday for allegedly firing at constables attempting to serve him with an eviction notice.

Indianapolis SWAT officers were called to the 3400 block of Kinnear Avenue around 9:30 a.m. Monday after Center Township constables reported shots fired while attempting to serve civil papers.

No one was reported injured in the shooting.

After more than three hours of negotiations, the subject of the eviction notice – 52-year-old John Jones Bey – ended his barricade and exited his residence peacefully.

Bey, who has had run-ins with Indianapolis authorities before, is part of the sovereign citizen movement – a group of anti-government individuals who don’t recognize the U.S. Constitution and, therefore, say federal, state and local governments have no authority over them.

In October 2015, Bey filed a lawsuit claiming mental anguish and distress at the city's attempts to tax and administer his property without his consent. He says in the suit the grievance can be resolved if the city pays him for 40 years of property taxes, with interest. He calculates that comes to about $556 million.

CALL 6 | ‘Sovereign citizens’ want millions from Indianapolis

He also wanted an extra $11 billion for the violation of his human rights.

Bey based his lawsuit on the claim that he is an "aboriginal indigenous Moorish American."

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out that suit in February, determining that Bey is a U.S. citizen and that the lawsuit was frivolous.

Following his arrest Monday, Bey was booked into the Marion County Jail on preliminary charges of attempted murder and criminal recklessness. Bail had not yet been set.

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