July 12, 2013
During a Thursday morning arraignment hearing outside of Washington, DC, jailed activist Adam Kokesh refused to answer questions from a judge and was told that he’ll continue to be locked up without bond.
Kokesh, 31, will likely now stay in a northern Virginia detention facility until a preliminary hearing scheduled for October 2 is held. He was arrested Tuesday evening at his Herndon, Virginia home and charged with drug and gun felonies.
The raid on Kokesh’s home occurred amid a US Park Police investigation which was brought on by a video that the Second Amendment activist posted on YouTube a week earlier.
In the clip, Kokesh is seen loading a shotgun in downtown DC’s Freedom Plaza – located just two blocks away from the White House.
“We will not be silent. We will not obey. We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity,” Kokesh said in the clip, which was recorded after his planned “Open Carry March” was cancelled amid warnings from law enforcement. “We are the final American Revolution. See you next Independence Day,” he continued.
Kokesh hoped to have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of residents walk into the nation’s capital carrying loaded firearms in defiance of the district’s ban on guns outside the home.
After police concluded a search of Kokesh’s Herndon, VA house on Monday, they charged him with possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic, namely psychadelic mushrooms, and also having drugs while possessing a firearm. If convicted on that count alone, he would receive a minimum sentence of two years in jail.
Kokesh was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, but reportedly refused to leave his holding cell. He finally made his appearance before a judge the following morning, but had to be carted in on a wheelchair because he refused to cooperate.
“He happened to be in a wheeled chair because he did not want to walk,” First Lieutenant Steve Elbert of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office told WTOP News.
When he was wheeled before a judge to be arraigned, Kokesh reportedly refused to speak.
“I’ll take your silence as your consent,” a Fairfax County judge told him, according to WJLA News.
A friend of Kokesh told News4 Washington that refusing to leave the jail cell was meant to be an act of civil disobedience. The Sheriff’s Office previously confirmed that Kokesh initially refused to be photographed or fingerprinted upon being detained.
Kokesh has been arrested in the past, including earlier this year at a marijuana legalization rally in Philadelphia and at a dance-off he hosted inside the Jefferson Memorial in DC two years ago. He told News4 last week that the YouTube video that sparked a police investigation was also an act of civil disobedience.
“I loaded a shotgun on Independence Day, but I didn’t kill anybody. I didn’t drone any children,” Kokesh said. “I didn’t steal any children’s future. I didn’t sell this country into debt. I didn’t do any of the crimes that the man two blocks over at the White House is responsible for.”