MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Memphis lawyer is adding a new branch to his law firm, one which will focus on representing victims of Sovereign Citizens and Moorish Nationals, like the woman arrested last week for squatting in an east Memphis mansion.
Last week Kenneth Besser was contacted by the aunt of Tabitha Gentry's daughter. Gentry, also known as Abka Re Bey, is a self-proclaimed Moorish National who took over a $3 million home in east Memphis. It was at that point Besser realized this is a serious movement that no one's trying to stop.
From a father and son team shooting officers in West Memphis to Gentry squatting with her six children in a $3 million mansion, whether their Sovereign Citizens, Moorish Nationalists, or something else, lawyer Kenneth Besser says there's a problem. Besser says, "We need to start nipping this stuff in the bud as soon as it happens to keep it from accelerating into something that you shouldn't do."
Besser is asking Moorish Nationalists and Sovereign Citizens to contact him directly and explain to him what it is they're doing and why they're doing it. He's developing an action plan against the groups of people who believe they are above the law, like Gentry. "She squatted in a house once, was in there a long time, she had an altercation with police in which they were accosted by her, and she essentially got away with that." Besser explains, "Now even more emboldened she took over a $3 million home. At this point it looks like she is finally going to get some education that she is not immune to this process and thank goodness it happened before anyone got physically hurt."
According to Besser, the biggest problem right now is that lawyers and law enforcement don't know how to approach these citizens and don't know how to respond to their actions. "When you ask someone, 'What are you going to do when the police arrive,' and that person responds, 'I'll deal with them,' that is a tinder box, and if you strike that inappropriately, someone's going to get hurt."
He's also asking that victims contact him. They're getting strapped with expensive cleaning bills, legal fees and loss of income from someone illegally taking over their property. Besser says that's not fair.
Besser says a large part of the problem is these groups tend to clog offices with paperwork that isn't authentic. He is trying to prevent the bogus documents from ever getting filed, or putting a stop to them immediately.