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US police arrest 11 Black men ahead of national holiday

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US police arrest armed Black men after stand-off in Massachusetts

A group of heavily-armed American Black men have been arrested by US security forces after an hours-long standoff with Massachusetts police.

Police reported on Saturday that the men, who were armed pistols and rifles and clothed in combat fatigues, had said that they were traveling from Rhode Island to Maine for "training" when they were arrested.

State Police Col. Christopher Mason said  at a press briefing that the men had identified themselves as being part of an ideological group known as Rise of the Moors.

Media reported the group's website as described its members as "Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders."

Mason said the incident kicked off when a state trooper on patrol on I-95 in Wakefield at around 1:30 a.m. observed two vehicles stopped in the breakdown lane with their hazard lights on.

The patrol officer, who had stopped to assist the motorists and saw that they were attempting to refuel their vehicles, noticed they were wearing “tactical or military style” uniforms, including tactical vests and body cameras. Some of them had long rifles, others pistols or some combination of both.

"You can imagine, 11 armed individuals standing armed with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2 in the morning certainly raises concerns, and is certainly not consistent with the firearms laws that we have here in Massachusetts," said Mason.

Mason said the trooper asked the men for their driver’s and firearms licenses, and the men said they didn’t have them. The trooper then called for backup, and other state and local police responded to assist.

At some point, Mason said some of the armed men left into the woods with their firearms. Two of the remaining men were taken into custody and a perimeter was established to arrest the other ones.

About nine hours after the incident began; seven additional suspects had been taken into custody by the MSP Special Tactical Operations Team.

Two more suspects were found in the vehicles and taken into custody.

 “Our investigation will provide us more insight into what their motivation, what their ideology is,” Mason said.

The arrest came a day before Americans hold the annual Independence Day anniversary holiday.

The Fourth of July commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States from British colonial rule on July 4, 1776.

The incident comes as concerns about racism and systemic police violence against Blacks has been a major concern in the United States.

Experts say former US President Donald Trump with his racist and divisive comments and rhetoric intensified that conflict and deepened the social gap between white supremacists and Blacks in modern US society.

 


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