11 Heavily-Armed Men in Tactical Gear Cause Standoff, Shut Down I-95 in Massachusetts

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

There was an unusual situation Saturday morning that caused a huge standoff on I-95 in Massachusetts, starting around 2 a.m. local time.

Police found two cars pulled over on the road, after they apparently ran out of gas, and stopped to assist them.

In the cars were 11 heavily-armed individuals with rifles and pistols in military-style tactical gear. The men told the police that they were going to Maine from Rhode Island for “training.” They claimed to be from a group that “doesn’t recognize our laws” and refused to put down their weapons or comply with the authorities, which started a standoff with the police, with some of them taking off into the surrounding woods.

“You can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2 in the morning certainly raises concerns and is not consistent with the firearms laws that we have in Massachusetts,” Mass State Police Col. Christopher Mason said. “I appreciate that perspective,” he said “I disagree with that perspective at the end of the day, but I recognize that it’s there.”

Initially, there wasn’t information about the nature of the men who were stopped. Liberals on Twitter immediately jumped to conclusions as to who the people were. They immediately made the assumption the people were white militia, and some remarked on how they would have been shot by the police if they were people of color.

Of course, you know what they say about assumptions. Theirs were completely dashed when it came out what the men were. They were part of a group called “Rise of the Moors.” They describe themselves as “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders.”

In their videos, streaming from the side of the road during the standoff, they claimed that they weren’t anti-government and didn’t intend to threaten anyone.

“We are not antigovernment. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we’re not Black identity extremists,” said the man who appeared to be wearing military-style equipment. “As specified multiple times to the police that we are abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States.”

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said that previously-posted rhetoric from the group has been “anything but peaceful.”

Ultimately, after several hours, the police were able to negotiate for them to surrender their weapons, and they were arrested. It’s not clear what charges they might face yet.