Civil Liberties

SWAT Team Raids Home of Libertarian Activist Adam Kokesh, Arrests Him on Drug and Gun Charges



A local SWAT team working with the U.S. Park Police raided the Herndon, Va. home of libertarian activist Adam Kokesh shortly before 8 p.m. last night. Kokesh was arrested and "charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs while in possession of a firearm," according to the Washington Post (The drug: psilocybin mushrooms.)

The raid–which a Kokesh roommate says involved a SWAT team knocking in Kokesh's front door then tossing a flashbang into the foyer–likely resulted from a video that shows Kokesh loading a shotgun in Freedom Square in D.C. on July 4th, in violation of D.C. law (I say "likely" because the U.S. Park Police has yet to confirm the video's role in Kokesh's arrest).

Kokesh had originally promised to lead a group of armed gun-owners across the Memorial Bridge from Virginia into D.C. When the Metropolitan Police Department promised to meet him on the D.C. side and arrest anyone violating D.C.'s gun laws, Kokesh backed down. Hence the early morning shotgun-loading video he filmed in Freedom Square. The video, titled, "Open Carry March on DC a Success," concludes with Kokesh saying, "We are the final American Revolution. See you next Independence Day." 

A statement posted on Kokesh's website, Adam Vs The Man, describes the raid thusly:

Adam Kokesh Facebook page

On the evening of Tuesday, 09JUL13, at approximately 7:45 PM, a combination of US Parks Police (an arm of the DHS) raided Adam Kokesh's residence. Local Herndon police assisted in the armed invasion. The officers used a battering ram to knock in the door after two knocks, and did not announce that they had a warrant. Immediately after breaking down the door, a flash bang grenade was deployed in the foyer.

Numerous police vehicles, including a light armored vehicle and two low-flying helicopters barricaded Adam's street. More than 20 armored SWAT team members surrounded the house, as well as a number of detectives, and plainclothes officers. Assault rifles were aimed on all members of the team as they were handcuffed without being told why they were detained. Masked and armored police in full "Storm Trooper" gear flooded in and ransacked the residence. The team was cordoned in a front room, while Adam was pulled aside for questioning.

Over the course of the next five hours, the police searched every corner of the house with canine units and blueprints to the house obtained prior to the search. All officers refused to speak to the crew while they we being detained. They confiscated cell phones and personal items with force. Throughout the ordeal, the police repeatedly showed a volatile desire to initiate aggressive, forceful conduct with detainees. At one point, Adam politely requested to use the restroom and was kicked by the officer forcing him to sit handcuffed on the floor. After hours of determined attempts, the safe was forced open and all items inside were confiscated. Adam was arrested and his crew were told he was being brought to the Herndon Police department overnight. Well after midnight, police officers cleared the house.

"Kokesh refused to be fingerprinted or arraigned, or to speak with court officials on Wednesday morning," the Post reports. He'll be arraigned tomorrow morning.