Defendants involved in Wakefield standoff appear in court

MEDFORD, Mass. — An extensive law enforcement escort brought some of the 11 suspects from the Rise of the Moors group to Cambridge District Court on Tuesday. The arrests followed an hours-long “armed” standoff with State Police over the weekend.

The defendants, 10 men and a 17-year-old juvenile, say they’re members of a group called Rise of the Moors and not subject to federal or state laws. Members of the ‘Rise of the Moors’ group supported the men inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom and on Zoom.

MORE: State Police identify eight of 11 males arrested after armed standoff in Wakefield

“The fact that they were arrested shows their rights were violated, no crime was committed there were on their way to train, they were stopped on the highway, you got to see everything else that was happening as it progressed,” said Rashad Bey.

Investigators said at least eight guns were discovered after that shooting, which included three AR-15 rifles, according to the prosecutors. The defendants face several charges including unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Wild courtroom exchanges inside were matched outside when some members were asked about the arrests.

“I don’t want to take cats out of trees for the rest of my life, so if I get something exciting, I’m going to run over there and blow it out of proportion,” said Leonidas Jabarr Bey.

One member in support of the group who did not give her name said their arrest was clear on issue of the group’s identity.

“We are not sovereign citizens, absolutely not. We are not sovereign citizens,” she said.

Some of the 11 people charged in connection with an armed standoff along a Massachusetts highway last weekend refused to cooperate with court authorities during their arraignments.

MORE: Father of Rise of the Moors’ leader says son not violent, SPLC agrees

The first to appear in court Tuesday told the judge in a courtroom with a heavy security presence he was a “foreign national” who cannot face criminal charges and said he did not want a defense attorney.

Several of the defendants are ordered held without bail until Friday’s dangerousness hearing, at which the state will ask they continue to be held without bail. Tuesday’s unfinished arraignments will continue Wednesday.

Additionally, the defendant only identified as John Doe 1 - as seen in the Probable Cause Narrative attached below - still has not identified himself. The judge ordered him held until he does.

Boston 25 News reporter Bob Ward was at District Court Tuesday morning where he live-tweeted the arraignment of the 11 defendants. Below is a selection of his most recent tweets regarding the arraignment. To see all of his tweets from the entire day, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.