A Florida woman is suing the police department in West Memphis, Arkansas for the deaths of her husband and stepson, who were killed in a shootout after opening fire on two police officers last year.
Donna Lee Wray-Kane filed a lawsuit in Florida District Court over what she calls “torture killings and civil rights violations,” and is asking for damages of at least $75,000 each for the deaths of her husband and stepson — to be paid in gold “at $38 per troy ounce,” according to the complaint.
Jerry Kane and his 16-year old son Joseph were driving a white van in West Memphis in May of last year, when two police officers pulled them over in a routine traffic stop. Joseph Kane pulled out an AK-47 and killed both of the officers. Kane and his son were killed shortly thereafter in a shootout with police in a Walmart parking lot, in which two other officers were wounded.
As TPM reported at the time, Jerry Kane held anti-government views, many of which were in line with those of sovereign citizens, who believe almost all forms of government are illegitimate. Justin Elliott wrote last May:
The driver of the van was Jerry Kane, who traveled the country giving a debt-elimination seminar and had recently spoken of killing IRS agents and being stopped at a “Nazi checkpoint” in New Mexico.
A sheriff in Kane’s home state of Ohio told the AP that in 2004, angry at being sentenced to (or, in his words, “enslaved” in) community service for driving with an expired license plate, Kane “claimed he was a ‘free man’ and asked [the judge] for $100,000 per day in gold or silver.”
Wray-Kane is suing on three counts, for “violations of due process,” “arbitrary arrest and detention,” and “torture killings.” District Judge Richard A. Lazzara called the complaint “nothing more than a nonsensical recitation of various state and federal constitutional articles and amendments, federal statutory laws, and international treaties,” the Associated Press reports. He also noted that police departments aren’t legal entities and therefore cannot be sued.
The complaint cites everything from the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to the Convention Against Torture, to the UN’s charter. And, even more oddly, it cites Article I, section 8, clause 10 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to “define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations.”
Wray-Kane’s previously made some other rather inscrutable statements about the shootout. She told Fox 13 last year that Jerry and Joseph Kane didn’t kill the officers, and that “we have reports from people who’ve seen video from Russia that shows that Jerry and Joe and the officers were fired upon by federal snipers.”
West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert, the father of one of the police officers killed by Joseph Kane, called the lawsuit frivolous and said had considered filing a counter-suit but ultimately declined. “We have suffered tremendously,” Paudert said. “She has the audacity to file a lawsuit against us for what they did to us.”