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‘Sovereign Citizen’ Killed in Altercation with Police in Arizona

By Leah Nelson on June 22, 2011 - 3:59 pm, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

An antigovernment “sovereign citizen” who was shot dead Sunday night by police in Arizona appears to have been involved with a major sovereign group called the Republic for the united States of America (RuSA).

William Foust, 50, of Page, Ariz., was shot by Officer Shawn Wilson during a fight in which Foust allegedly attempted to wrest Wilson’s Taser from him, the Arizona Daily Sun reported yesterday.

The officer was responding to a domestic violence call at B & T Marine,  a boat rental business owned by Foust and his wife. Foust fled the scene before police arrived but returned to carry on a “heated argument” with the female victim. He was “upset, loud, and confrontational with the officer,” the Cononino County Sheriff’s Office told reporters.

Foust, described by the Sun as a “well-known Page businessman,” was also a well-known sovereign citizen whose hostile reaction to a speeding ticket landed him in jail in December on contempt charges. In typical sovereign fashion, Foust dragged his feet on the ticket for months – clogging the court with a jumble of meaningless papers, refusing to acknowledge the judge’s authority or tell the judge his date of birth, and failing to appear at a scheduled hearing. Sovereigns typically believe they are not subject to the laws of the United States.

A eulogy for Foust by RuSA’s “chief ambassador” suggests that he was deeply involved with the “Republic.”

“[I]t can be said without reservation that William Dale Foust will be written about in history books as one of the favorite sons of the Republic and truly one of the present day ‘Founding Fathers,’” James Kalm Fitzgerald wrote in a press release that was posted on a range of antigovernment “Patriot” websites.

Launched in July 2010 with the issuance of a “Declaration of Sovereignty for the Republic for the united States,” RuSA promulgates an elaborate anti-government conspiracy theory asserting that that the “real” U.S. Constitution went “dormant” in 1871 and was replaced with a fake that made the United States a corporation and enslaved all of its citizens.

The group, which claims to draw authority from the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta, has set up a parallel government consisting of an “interim” president and vice president, and representatives from the majority of states.

From the language of Fitzgerald’s eulogy, it appears that Foust was involved with RuSA before it circulated its Declaration of Sovereignty last July. “It was not much more than a year ago that he was introduced to the principles of law that our Republic is founded upon,” Fitzgerald lamented. “He was a selfless player in the re-inhabiting and development of the Republic and all here in Arizona and many throughout the nation looked upon him as a natural born leader with many years ahead of him of service.”

Foust is not the only sovereign whose confrontation with police has ended in bloodshed. Last May, a father-son team of sovereigns murdered two West Memphis, Ark., police officers. At the end of the ensuing police chase, the two sovereigns also lay dead. Since 1995, sovereigns have killed both police and civilians in Idaho, Ohio, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The officer who shot Foust will remain on administrative leave while the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Northern Arizona Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Team conduct criminal and administrative investigations, the Sun reports.

  • peter stevens

    If 2 policeman cannot subdue an unarmed man it looks like an execution. Patriot Act & National Defense Authorization Act include all the laws of Hitler. We, now, have a Nazi government. You cannot have all the Nazi laws without being a Nazi government.

  • paul dodd

    A walkaway said,
    on June 24th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    George AKA L Raye,
    The problem is, cops like Mark Fuhrman are common. Cops don’t want people around because they become witnesses. They’re all about making people submit to authority, and you don’t dare be assertive in their presence (NOT aggressive).

    In the 33 years I’ve lived in this state, over 2/3 of the “encounters” with the cops were bogus, unprofessional, and terrifying (and frustrating). We believe these problems happen because of our race (American Indian), political affiliation (liberal Democrat), and unwillingness to convert to fundamentalist Christianity. It’s been so bad that when I DO have an “encounter” with a professional-acting officer (irregardless whether I get a ticket or not, or if I’m asking for help or stopped because of some issue), I make a point of contacting the department and give a good complimentary report for the officer.

    Let me get the violin out for you now. You are being picked upon because you are an American indian, liberal democrat and the officer would know this by what? 2/3 encounter with officers sound like you seem to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time I guess. Oh by the way read history you are an immigrant too by the way of
    http://www.native-languages.org/bering.htm
    the Bearing Straight. Just though you would like to know.

  • paul dodd

    skinnyminny said,

    what I like to call some, if not most, of tea party,
    on June 22nd, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Your making unfounded accusations about the Tea Party so I am making assumption you are a card carring liberal who supports the occupy movement. Not surprising!

  • Shane

    If they are pro-government why don’t they simply run for office and help make the system better? Its amazing that they hate the government that provides them the very freedoms that they enjoy daily. It’s not a perfect system but it’s the best one I know of on this planet. If you don’t like our system, help change it or move to another country. Killing cops is not the answer.

  • John

    “Sovereign Citizens” are being labeled anti-government. Are they really? I suspect that you would find that most “Sovereign Citizens” would be pro good government, pro the rule of law. I think that it would be more accurate to say that they are anti-corruption, anti-tyranny, anti-police state.

    They can see how far outside of law that the Government has strayed, and they have had the guts to take a stand and try and do something about it.

    GEORGE AKA L RAYE “These anti-government groups need to keep one thing in mind: they are living by the laws and rules of our great government each day. They don’t want to admit it, but they are. If not, would they have the right to agree and post it on the world wide web? Would they have the right or ability to buy any type of commerce?”

    Rights don’t come from Government. Rights are God given. Governments are meant to exist to protect our God given rights. They are also meant to follow the Constitution, and the law.

    “I don’t always agree with the laws and what the federal government does BUT I have the right to disagree and say so in public.”

    It is one thing to be able to disagree, and say so in public… but the real test is… Can you actually do anything to change the laws that you don’t like?

    The Government is meant to represent us. It is supposed to be doing what we want. Does it? Politicians are meant to be your servants. Are they? Policians are mean to be elected, but in truth they are selected. You have one political party with two different names to create the illusion of choice.

    The top 10% of the wealthy now control over 90% of the world’s wealth, leaving 90% of us struggling to get our ‘fair share’ of 10%!

    Also, if everyone wanted to repay their debts at the same time there would not be a single cent left in circulation, and money for interest would still be owed to the banks! Money is created as DEBT. There is no way to repay debt with more debt… therefore we are all literally debt slaves!

    It’s time to wake up my friends. You are in a prison without walls. Stop defending your captors!

  • cluley

    This article tackles a lot of different issues I consider important. For one thing, these radical skinhead tea party haters are no better than the any other radical and I can’t say radical liberal anymore because there aren’t any. Hey, I’m a Civil Libertarian and I hate both sides of the coin. This shit is ruining our country and stealing our sanity. But cops are a big problem, too. There are far too many laws on the books in this country, many of which are enforced “on a whim”. The cops decide when and how to hurt whomever they wish. And then their organization covers for them every single time, like a mob. There is no doubt that the government is way over the top on a lot of things, including the drug war, the overseas wars and the stealing of our hard earned cash.. but these radical nutjobs don’t make it easy for the rest of us to get something rational and productive done.

  • Jay Jones

    To Ruslan, I knew I should probably not use that example but that was all it was for, I meant nothing against the Moose Lodge or any other group. I did receive a report that Mr. Foust was trying to leave the scene and was in his car. The policeman then broke the handle off and shot him through the window in the face and in the chest. Like I say, the Truth will come out in the investigations.Also again, I heard the officer did not have a taser.

  • A walkaway

    George AKA L Raye,
    The problem is, cops like Mark Fuhrman are common. Cops don’t want people around because they become witnesses. They’re all about making people submit to authority, and you don’t dare be assertive in their presence (NOT aggressive).

    In the 33 years I’ve lived in this state, over 2/3 of the “encounters” with the cops were bogus, unprofessional, and terrifying (and frustrating). We believe these problems happen because of our race (American Indian), political affiliation (liberal Democrat), and unwillingness to convert to fundamentalist Christianity. It’s been so bad that when I DO have an “encounter” with a professional-acting officer (irregardless whether I get a ticket or not, or if I’m asking for help or stopped because of some issue), I make a point of contacting the department and give a good complimentary report for the officer.

    It rarely happens.

    I don’t know which I consider more of a threat or terrifying – these anti-government nutcases (who think the good things the government does are bad, like helping the poor or following the constitutional mandate to regulate business), or the cops. It’s also been my observation that the more right-wing and anti-government a person is, the more likely they will be a racist bigot and violently hostile to liberals and the poor.

    I doubt we’ll ever hear the whole (or real) story for this. I don’t know what to think, because IMO both “sides” are a problem and can’t be trusted. I do know that the “Sovereign Citizen” movement is especially dangerous and prone to violence, but IMO the cops aren’t that much better.

    With the “Sovereign Citizen” dead, his side of the story can’t be told.

  • GEORGE AKA L RAYE

    LEGALHOUND, thanks for posting the truth. I am a deputy sheriff / investigator for a large county in Tennessee. We have been subjected to the anti-government groups which are popping their ugly, factless, pain in the butt heads more and more each day. I agree with what you have said compeletly. These anti-government groups need to keep one thing in mind: they are living by the laws and rules of our great government each day. They don’t want to admit it, but they are. If not, would they have the right to agree and post it on the world wide web? Would they have the right or ability to buy any type of commerce? Which by the way, they are paying some type of tax when they do so. Buy gas for their vehicles? Drive on the roadways which are governed by either county or state department of transportation? I don’t always agree with the laws and what the federal government does BUT I have the right to disagree and say so in public. With that said, so do these groups. That’s what makes the United States of America, this land we live in, so great.

  • Chris

    “Try to take the taser away and all you leave is the gun so you earned the bullet.” Bullshit. If they tried to take the gun, maybe. But someone taking a non-lethal device does not earn instant death. Whatever happened to just wailing on the dude? It used to be that cops actually had to justify their actions. Now a twitch in your arm can earn you a bullet in the head.

    I in no way support the sovereigns, or the actions of this man in particular. But cops in this country shoot at anything that moves, and it HAS to stop.

  • Chuck

    I think the “1%” figure mentioned by C. Carr is a better representation of those who subscribe to this kind of anti-government rhetoric.

  • legalhound

    While I do not in anyway condone things like police brutality or corruption, I will say this: Officers have the right to defend themselves. If you get obnoxious with an officer who is doing his job then getting tased is appropriate as it is less lethal than a gun. Try to take the taser away and all you leave is the gun so you earned the bullet. Solution: 1. cooperate with police. 2. use your phone call to get a REAL lawyer-these screwy idiots who have not passed the bar exam are not REAL lawyers and will just cause you more problems. 3. a change in font is for looks and nothing more so toss the stupid conspiracy theory in the trash where it belongs. 4. all people living and working in this country who are not diplomats or in diplomatic service are expected to obey all laws-if you don’t you get to suffer the punishment as a consequence for your defiance or stupidity, just like anyone else.
    As a former cop in Wyoming I can tell you that these people are absolutely crazy and they’re a big pain in the butt. I carried a bean bag shotgun and 4 loaded lethal guns just to make sure I always had one that was loaded handy. Thankfully I’ve never had to kill anyone, but I’ve seen more instances of law enforcement officers being killed and injured by these kooks than I would care to have seen.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Jones, how many “Moose Lodge” members have been responsible for hostage standoffs, kidnappings, domestic terrorism incidents, thousands of bogus liens, etc?

  • Jay Jones

    The Truth will come out in the investigations. All of this on this site so far is assumptions and allegations. The policeman did not even have a taser. The person writing this article has no knowledge of the Republic For the united states of America. It has always been the tactic and motive of the media to twist and turn the Truth. This was a domestic violence call and had absolutely nothing to do with the Republic. How is it that it now has turned into an attack against “Sovereigns”? If he had been a member of say the “The Moose Lodge”, I wonder if they would have attacked all of those members? Probably not. I would encourage everyone to do some research before making any conclusions on this case. Is is not proper for there to be two officers sent to any domestic violence call? Why was there one and why was it the one who had been involved in this so called “Sovereign” attack? Too many strange coincidences to be left for chance. Bless you.

  • skinnyminny

    Jonas Rand,
    I think the problem is when something happens to a minority, it is overlooked, same as when something happens to someone white – there’s rarely anyone from minorities to help join the protest against the wrong. That’s what happens with division and racial-discrimination. Which is why I am so disappointed with the GOP right now, and will never vote for them again.

    Anyway, there’s a sketchy story about a man in Lancaster, Califas that was shot 14x’s by the sheriff deputies, and allegedly his pregnant girlfriend was shot in the back during this same event. The rumors are, the man had to have a leg amputated due to this shooting.

    It is interesting, however, that people are not noticing that things that happen to blacks and laughed off, are now finding their way to whites. Let me explain this, blacks lost their jobs, now the whites are losing theirs. Blacks lost their homes, now whites are losing theirs. Blacks have been shot and killed by the police – as you know, I have been talking about suspects being shot in the head. Now some whites are starting to be killed as well.

  • http://jdrand.virtue.nu Jonas Rand

    NOTE: This is in no way sympathizing with sovereign nonsense and I have to question what information in this article that the above person is saying to be “lies”. Skinnyminny raises an important point about this person and his business.

    First, if I understand this correctly, what provoked this murder was attempting to wrest a taser from the cop. Now, that is certainly a provocative and confrontational move, if a foolish one. But alone, does it merit this fatal, extreme response? It could only possibly be fatal if the “sovereign” was either brandishing a weapon, or doing something like wrapping his other hand around the cop’s neck. Trying to take a taser away from a cop who wants to use it, (a dangerous and violent method of punishment by itself) is not capable of causing deadly harm. Since there was no indication that he was armed, we shouldn’t assume that he was.

    The only other thing the sovereign was accused of doing that possibly would provoke this killing is arguing with a cop. Now, I’m not saying that the officer in question fired his gun because the sovereign disagreed with him, but only a thuggish goon or an insane person would shoot someone for arguing with them. If arguing, reasonably or not, and trying to wrest a taser (why should it have been taken out anyway? To send a message? Sit down and shut up?) from the cop was all that provoked this killing, then there should be an investigation into it. If that was the sole pretext that the cop could come up with, then the justification is extremely flimsy.

    The cop acted in a capricious way, on his own whim, rather than by due process. Aren’t there laws prohibiting this exercise of power-tripping?

    How does being “upset, loud, and confrontational” with a cop justify murdering someone? Last time I heard, freedom of speech was not a crime, but a Constitutionally and UN-granted right (one of the only things that is great about this country is the freedom to criticize it, and everything else). Is this how US police tackle debate and argument? With fatal bullets? That seems like injustice to me. If someone tries to argue about the legitimacy of his arrest with a police officer, and the cop doesn’t like to be challenged, I thought the typical response, though a power-crazy one, was to arrest the malcontent on a disorderly conduct charge.

    “Foust is not the only sovereign whose confrontation with police has ended in bloodshed.”

    Only this time, he was the unfortunate victim, not the perpetrator. Jerry and Joe Kane are guilty of the exact same crime that this cop is guilty of, and will almost surely not serve a day in jail for.

    In my hometown, a similar incident happened, only the victim is not known to have had bizarre, extremist views, so there is no way the killing can be portrayed as eliminating a lunatic who may have pulled a gun out and shot federal government officials at a different point in time. Instead, the man, Erik Scott, was shot outside a Costco supermarket, and while he was armed, he was not involved in a gun battle with officers. So the media decided to focus intently on the morphine levels in his body. This was not relevant to whether it was justified to shoot him. Obviously, the police were not trying to test his morphine levels to see whether he posed a risk. By popular demand (in a case which, I might add, would probably never be publicized were Scott a person of color), what amounted to a rubberstamp coroner’s inquest found the officers not guilty. Now one of them has been found guilty.

    This case was well publicized on Las Vegas television, but the coverage did not address who was lobbying for the publicity of this case. Apparently, and as I suspected while the proceedings were ongoing, the gun nuts took up this case and pushed it into media spotlight. I questioned why the corporate media would bring such high publicity toward the case of a man who was armed, high on morphine, and middle class while another case of a poor, unarmed Black man (Trevon Cole) being shot (and multiple others) did not merit such attention. The gun rights fanatics would take this case up because he is a sympathetic poster boy. However, just because those types of people exploited his death and his family doesn’t make it any less wrong for him to have been killed. This “sovereign” case reminds me of the Scott controversy.

  • C.Carr

    What a bunch of lies! You and the lies you write along with your mentally insane cohorts, which is only about 1% of the American population, is the reason America is STANDING UP! And it is about time! We ARE AWAKE, thanks to you! Change is a comin! Get used to it!

  • skinnyminny

    I would really like to know if this guy and his wife paid taxes on the rental business! If not, how did they own a business?

    As I’ve said before, these anti-government people, what I like to call some, if not most, of tea party, claim they don’t want to pay taxes, and yell it’s their money too, I’d like to know if this guy paid taxes on his business.