McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

March 7, 2014

Diplomatic immunity: Moorish American claims status, fails to appear for misdemeanor jury trial

ENID, Okla. — A 57-year-old woman claiming diplomatic immunity because of her status as a Moorish American failed to appear at her misdemeanor jury trial Friday morning.

Rachel Eva Johnson, also known by the last names of Curry or Smith, had a bench warrant issued for her arrest and her bond revoked.

Special District Judge Brian Lovell thanked the more than 20 prospective jurors about 9:30 a.m. for their service after Johnson failed to show.

“As you can see,” Lovell said, “we are missing an important person — the defendant.”

Lovell set bond on the warrant for Johnson at $20,000.

Johnson was set to stand trial on misdemeanor charges of obstruction, driving with license suspended and speeding related to an April 27, 2013, traffic stop by Enid Police Department Officer Brian Schwarzkopf.

Johnson’s failure to attend her trial is not the strangest thing to happen in the case.

She sent a letter to Lovell from the Moorish Consulate Post in Chicago, which included documents stating her proper name was Noble Avaiya Ariel Mahala-Bey and a copy of “The Christian Black Codes of 1724.”

Johnson had been set for trial previously, on Nov. 22, 2013, but requested she be allowed to represent herself.

Her attorney was allowed to withdraw from the case, according to the court docket, and her motion to dismiss the case was denied.

Johnson also failed to respond to a motion filed by Assistant District Attorney Sara Barnett, asking the court to prohibit her from making any “strawman” or “Moorish American” type arguments. The motion also sought to prohibit Johnson from citing unrelated provisions from religious works or “The Christian Black Codes of 1724.”

Because Johnson failed to respond, each of the requests made by the state was sustained, and Lovell ordered Johnson was prohibited “from making any reference to being a ‘Moorish’ sovereign.”

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Schwarzkopf stopped Johnson for traveling 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in the 6800 block of North Oakwood.

After finding Johnson’s license was suspended, Schwarzkopf attempted to place Johnson under arrest, but she became “argumentative” and got back into her vehicle.

Johnson refused to be taken into custody until Schwarzkopf told her he would use his Taser unless she complied.

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