False Flagging-No Moor Here- Just a Misguided Fool
December 21, 2011
A Norfolk man who says he is a Moorish national was sentenced Tuesday to time served in jail for illegally claiming he had diplomatic immunity.
But he didn’t go until U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen gave him a stern yet sympathetic lecture.
Following a trial in September, Allen found Roland Lee Morrison, 51, guilty of two counts of fraudulent assertion of diplomatic immunity. During an arrest by city police in 2010, Morrison claimed to have immunity by being a member of the Moors black empowerment movement.
“We all have to agree with the law in America, whether we like it or not,” Allen told Morrison. “Your beliefs, if they clash with American laws, are going to get you in trouble.”
But the judge sympathized with Morrison, telling him there are laws even she doesn’t favor and that “some cops are good cops and some cops are bad cops.”
“There’s a lot of stuff I don’t agree with in America but I keep my mouth shut,” the judge continued.
Morrison was arrested Aug. 29, 2010, when police stopped to question him and others at a cookout on Ashlawn Drive about open containers of alcohol and loud music. Morrison asked one of the officers what his “delegation of authority” was, according to the officer’s trial testimony.
“I have sovereign immunity and your laws don’t apply to me,” Morrison told the officer.
Morrison then presented an identification card, commonly referred to as a Moorish ID, which said the cardholder has diplomatic immunity under authority of the Department of Justice and the United Nations.
The crowd started to become unruly, tossing bottles at the police. Officers said Morrison began resisting while they tried to arrest him for being drunk in public. Morrison disputes he resisted, but all agreed at the trial that the police used pepper spray to subdue him.
On its website, the Moorish Science Temple of America, an Islamic-based religion akin to the Nation of Islam, specifically says that it does not teach, endorse or support any “sovereign” theory. Norfolk police have reported a spike in encounters with people claiming Moorish immunity.
In 2009, Morrison changed his name to Rashid Muhammad to reflect his affiliation with the religion but returned to his birth name last year. Morrison maintains his innocence and continues to believe that “all men and women have an inalienable right to self govern themselves,” according to a letter he filed in court.
Morrison spent more than a year in jail fighting the case, and part of that time included a jail term for the drunk-in-public conviction.
Judge Allen said the year in jail was enough punishment.
“My sense is you will do better and you can do better,” she told him.
Morrison said little during the proceeding, but toward the end, as the judge spoke to him, he muttered, “Thank you.”