Gun activist ordered held in D.C. jail

WASHINGTON — Adam Kokesh, the gun-rights activist arrested after posting an Independence Day video of himself apparently loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, will remain in the D.C. jail at least through Monday, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday.

U.S. Park Police brought Kokesh to the District Thursday to face gun charges related to the video. He was first arrested July 9 during a raid of his Herndon, Va., home and has been held in Fairfax County on charges of possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms while possessing a firearm.

Kokesh’s housemates alleged that he was mistreated in the raid, which was led by a U.S. Park Police SWAT team and assisted by local police. Kokesh was posting bail Thursday in Virginia when Park Police arrested him again and transported him to the District, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In D.C. Superior Court Friday, Kokesh was charged with one count of carrying a pistol outside of his home or office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Chambers called the video a “defiant and assertive act of protest” against D.C. gun laws.

According to court records, Kokesh posted the 23-second video to Youtube showing him holding a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun and loading four shells of suspected ammunition while speaking into the camera. Kokesh is then seen racking the slide of the shotgun. A caption in the video says Kokesh is in Freedom Plaza.

When authorities searched his home in Herndon, they found nine weapons, including a .357 Smith and Wesson, a .22- caliber rifle and a Maverick Arms 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun. Police also found ammunition and marijuana, the mushrooms and “other suspected narcotics,” according to documents.

Kokesh allegedly told police at the time of their search: “I’ll help you out, check in the headboard.” That’s where police found the shotgun, according to the documents.

Kokesh’s blog, Adam vs. The Man, describes the raid as “a brutal show of force by a coalition of overfunded and undertrained law enforcement agencies.”

The post continues: “These costumed thugs ransacked Adam’s home, and committed numerous civil rights violations in the course of their dubious search — both against Adam and the members of his crew who were present at the time. The officers would not identify themselves, and had covered their badges and name tags.”

Kokesh, 31, was ushered into the courtroom by marshals. His hands and wrists were shackled and he was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants.

Magistrate Judge Lori Parker ordered Kokesh to remain in jail because, she said, he had violated the rules of his release in another case. In June, Kokesh was charged with possession of marijuana after he was arrested on the south side of the White House allegedly smoking a marijuana cigarette.

He was released from jail in that case but with the condition that he undergo regular drug tests and meet with court officials. He was also ordered at the time not to be rearrested on other charges.

At the hearing, Kokesh’s attorney, Peter Cooper, argued the guns were licensed and there was no evidence that the guns found in his client’s home was the gun in the video. The judge disagreed. Kokesh is scheduled to appear in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

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