Proclamation To Sovereign Citizens Group Raises Questions

Proclamation To Sovereign Citizens Group Raises Questions

Does Memphis Mayor AC Wharton have a clue what he signed? Local 24 learned he issued an official proclamation honoring a sovereign citizens group.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Does Memphis Mayor AC Wharton have a clue what he signed?

Local 24 learned he issued an official proclamation honoring a sovereign citizens group.

The Moorish National American Republic, a group who has become known in Memphis thanks to the squatter who took over a multi-million dollar East Memphis mansion.

Members of the group believe the law doesn't apply to them.

So what was Mayor Wharton thinking?

Last year Memphis mayor AC Wharton issued an official proclamation declaring there be a Moorish American week in the city of Memphis. The question is who decides who gets these official proclamations? And is anyone in the mayor’s office checking the people or backgrounds of those receiving them?

Remember Tabitha Gentry? She's the accused East Memphis squatter that prosecutors say took over a $3 million estate last spring and refused to leave claiming she didn't have to follow laws or listen to the judge. She says she's a Moorish-American and has fought the court on everything from her name to jurisdiction.

Gentry and many people who call themselves Moorish believe they don't have to pay taxes, carry drivers licenses or listen to police and consider the government illegitimate. Which makes you wonder why in 2012 mayor AC Wharton gave the Moorish group an official city proclamation.

It doesn't make sense to former West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert, who is an expert on separatist and sovereign groups.

"To give the group a proclamation. I just think he got some bad advice from some of his advisors to do that and it was not checked out," Paudert said.

Local 24 wanted to talk to Mayor Wharton about this, instead his office issued this statement saying, in part, "proclamations are ceremonial. Just as a "key to the city" does not open any doors, a proclamation provides recognition only. It is not a legal document and does not entitle the recipient to anything.”

Memphis isn't the only city honoring the Moors. Go on line and you'll find one proclamation after another from cities. From Chicago to Omaha to Fayetteville North Carolina.

Paudert says those proclamations are part of the trickery moors and sovereigns citizens use to make their groups appear legit.

“They produce that document that says the mayor has recognized us and we have a proclamation in his city and that causes second thoughts by law enforcement and that's the danger of it,” Paudert said.

In Fayetteville last year when it was discovered a similar proclamation slipped threw the cracks and was issued, the mayor asked city staffers to retract it.

A spokesperson for Mayor Wharton says the group did not ask for a proclamation this year.
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