A Florida resident accused of killing two police officers last summer is the latest addition to the growing list of domestic antigovernment extremists known as sovereign citizens who have committed serious crimes including a number of other murders.
Last week, a state expert on domestic terrorism concluded that Everett Glenn Miller, an African American, had adopted Moorish beliefs prior to allegedly killing two Kissimmee, Florida, police officers last summer. Many Moors are also sovereign citizens and believe they do not need to follow laws and government regulations. Members espouse an interpretation of sovereign doctrine that views African Americans as an elite class within American society, one with special rights and privileges that convey on them a sovereign immunity that overrides federal and state authority.
The group is an offshoot of the antigovernment sovereign citizens movement, and has has evolved over the past few decades. While the movement was once composed of exclusively white, Christian extremists, adherents today come from varying backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities.
Miller’s Moorish beliefs
The Florida expert’s report cited Miller’s use of the slogan #makeamerickkamooragain in social media posts, his request of a book about black superiority and handwritten notes found in his car referencing Moorish leaders, among other indicators.
Miller is currently accused of murdering Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard of the Kissimmee Police Department on Aug. 18, 2017. He faces two first-degree murder charges in their shooting deaths. Moors have also been accused of murders in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina since January 2017.
On that fateful night, Officer Baxter was reportedly conducting a routine street patrol in a neighborhood known for drug activity. Baxter came across three suspicious individuals, including Miller, and began questioning them. Baxter was reportedly “checking into” the three individuals when Miller resisted. A scuffle apparently broke out between Baxter and Miller. Sgt. Howard responded to Baxter’s call for help.
At some point during the melee, Miller is believed to have pulled out a handgun and fatally shot both officers. The action was so sudden and unexpected that neither officer had an opportunity to return fire, according to a police spokesperson.
According to family members and friends, there were warning signs that Miller’s life was unraveling. A Marine Corps veteran with a 20-year military career, Miller was assigned to the United States Special Operations Command as an intelligence analyst and served tours in Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Since his release from the military in 2010, Miller was apparently struggling from post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in war zones and had difficulty acclimating back into society.
Adding to Miller’s deterioration, he had also recently lost his job and gone through a bitter breakup with his girlfriend.
“For years and years of his life, he was programmed to live one way,” said Edwin Garcia, a friend and former high school classmate of Miller’s. “He couldn’t move on,” he said. “It was tearing him apart, and I saw his downward spiral.”
Miller’s financial problems and struggles re-entering normal non-military life may have played a role in making Miller vulnerable to adopting Moorish beliefs.
In mid-July 2017, the Orlando Police Department stumbled across a disturbing Facebook video posted by Miller that threatened police officers. During their investigation, authorities noticed that Miller had adopted the name Malik Mohammad Ali and was making radical social media statements about politics, race and police. Specifically, Miller had posted several messages about black nationalism, controversial police shootings throughout the country and the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Police believed Miller was living in Orange County and notified the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of the threat. They had no idea that Miller was actually living in neighboring Osceola County. As a result, the Kissimmee Police Department and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office were never warned. It is not known whether this apparent oversight could’ve assisted the two Kissimmee officers before they confronted Miller.
Another potential warning sign included Miller’s arrest in Osceola County that same month. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a suspicious-person call about a man dressed in his underwear marching down a county road carrying a high-powered rifle. Miller was taken into custody, his rifle was confiscated and he was admitted to a mental health crisis clinic for three days.
More recently, while in custody for the shooting deaths, Miller is accused of plotting with another inmate to hurt correctional officers and medical staff at the jail in Osceola County. When guards attempted to restrain Miller and move him to another unit in the jail as a precaution, he violently resisted, hitting one guard with his fist. Eight correctional officers were involved in restraining Miller. After this latest incident, Miller was moved to the Orange County Jail.
Miller’s next court hearing is scheduled for November. His trial is tentatively planned for early 2019.