'Sovereign Citizen' Killed in Altercation with Police in Arizona

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.