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I woke up Friday morning to discover two entirely separate but equally disturbing things: One, that I had apparently decided to sleep on the loveseat the night before and to keep warm by wrapping myself in what had once been a decorative throw tastefully displayed on the wall, and two, that a couple of crazy bastards in Las Vegas had been arrested for plotting to kidnap, judge, torture and execute a cop as a public relations event for the Sovereign Citizens movement.
One of these events made my back hurt, the other made my head hurt; I’ll leave which did which up to you, but both revelations left me sad and confused. I had decided that at long last, this was going to be the week I finally wrote something happy and positive for you, something very likely “bunny-oriented,” but how can I ignore something like this?
According to a 10-page police report, David Allen Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, planned to confront police officers during traffic stops and kill them if they resisted, all in the name of fighting governmental authority.
They were actively holding meetings on the topic as well as conducting training sessions that detailed their plans to secretly videotape police officers, pick a cop to abduct, and find a house that could be used as a jail and torture chamber.
Hundreds of meeting hours were recorded by an undercover officer, ladies and gents. This went beyond bullshitting over a few beers at the local “Slap & Gulp” and straight into forging actual documents to get into Crazy Town where they’d be greeted with open arms.
“We need to arrest the police and take them to our jail and put them in a cell and put them on trial in a people's court," the report quotes Brutsche saying during a July 9 meeting with an unidentified undercover officer. "If we run into the position that they resist, then we need to kill them."
During a tour of gun stores the next day (which I’m sure was a pleasant task for the informant present), Brutsche said that what they were planning was going to be big, "and that they would really get a large following once they started because of the publicity," according to the report. And that whistle he probably heard off in the distance? That was the U.S.S. Looney Tune pulling into port to pick his crazy ass up. Or the FBI, whichever.
Wherever the root may lie, Brutsche likely doesn’t like the government because it has convicted him of six different felonies in the past, and to cap it off, he is a child sex offender from California. And his partner, Ms. Newman? As if it could be made stranger yet, she is the now the former public relations director of Scientology’s “Celebrity Center” in Las Vegas.
A high-ranking Scientologist and a sex offender plot to capture and kill a cop. Hello.
In an interesting twist, while Brutsche and Newman apparently feel it’s within their authority to arrest and/or kill a cop, they do not feel the reverse is true. Never mind their actual custodial arrest; when the two stood before a judge Friday facing their charges of felony conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, they told him they didn’t recognize his authority to keep them in jail.
“So noted,” was the response from Judge Conrad Hafen, “bullshit” apparently not being on the docket for the day.
While I’m trying to dilute some of “The Onion Field”-esque horror of this plot (that was stunningly stopped by local LVPD, I might add, with no small amount of admiration), this is an incredible example of a real threat by some of the craziest people I have ever heard of in a job not unknown for its disturbing contacts.
The Southern Poverty Law Center counted seven killings of law enforcement officers by alleged Sovereign Citizen members in the past decade in South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas and last year in Alamo, California. Then there was that thing in Oklahoma City a few years back you may recall, before 9/11 blotted it from memory, it seems…that was their party, too. But hundreds of hours spent planning the kidnap, torture, trial and execution of a street cop for…what?
I should have just stayed asleep.