Police investigate activist gun-rights activist’s video shot in District

U.S. Park Police and the D.C. police are investigating the authenticity of a video that surfaced Thursday morning that appears to show activist Adam Kokesh loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza and describing himself as part of the “final American Revolution.”

The police said in a joint statement on Thursday that they are aware of the video posted by Kokesh, which “appears to have been taken in Freedom Plaza.”

Kokesh had scheduled a pro-gun protest on July 4 and had asked 1,000 people to carry loaded rifles as they marched across the Memorial Bridge into the District and back to Arlington National Cemetery.

The march, which was canceled, was Kokesh’s most recent attempt to raise attention to one of his causes and, some say, to himself. Over the past six years, Kokesh has protested the Iraq war wearing his Marine Corps uniform and was arrested for an unauthorized dance party inside the Jefferson Memorial.

When Kokesh called off the armed march on Washington, he urged people to instead converge on 50 state capitols to protest gun regulations.

In a 23-second video posted online, Kokesh pulls four shells out of his suit jacket and loads a shotgun while saying: “We will not be silent. We will not obey. We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity. We are the final American Revolution. See you next Independence Day.”

Sgt. Paul Brooks of the U.S. Park Police said officials became aware of the video entitled “Open Carry March on DC A Success” on Thursday morning.

“Adam Kokesh put up a video showing him loading what appears to be a shotgun in what appears to be Freedom Plaza,” Brooks said. “We checked the area and nothing was found. Now we are in the process of trying to authenticate the video.”

Brooks said it is unclear when the video may have been made.


Anti-war protestor Adam Kokesh is seen outside Capitol Hill in Washington in this September 2007 photo. (Jim Young/Reuters)

Kokesh could find himself in legal trouble with his latest stunt if the video is authentic: Carrying a loaded weapon, concealed or unconcealed, is against the law in the District. The possession of a firearm not registered in the District carries a penalty up to a year in prison.

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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