Two security problems co-occurred at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon, minutes before firearms were taken from a Georgia man’s vehicle outside the Supreme Court complex, and a California man was detained for claiming to have “higher authority” and trying to get in via the north door.
A rare argument between the accused and the court
Melvin Marbrey, 73, reportedly told Supreme Court officers he was there to speak with Chief Justice John Roberts and “would not leave (unless) he was let into the premises,” according to recently filed court filings. Mabrey allegedly claimed to have “higher authority” and displayed a congressional report as supposed proof, according to a police affidavit. “I’m going inside, or you do what you must,” he warned the police.
Marbrey was taken into custody at 3:09 p.m. on Wednesday, just before another security scare during which police claimed to have discovered firearms in the car of Tony Payne, 80, who had been detained and was charged with possessing a weapon. The charges against Marbrey do not immediately reveal any relationship between the two.
Marbrey declared at a court hearing on Thursday that he intended to visit the Supreme Court once free. Marbrey used terminology used by sovereign citizens during the hearings to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Justice Department and the court. When the court requested Marbrey to name his defense counsel, he said, “The United States attorney general represents me. Merrick Garland appears. This court lacks jurisdiction.”
The judge ordered him to leave the Supreme Court, to which Marbrey replied, “I won’t remain absent. Now I’m heading there.” “I’m begging you to free me right now,” he continued. Tony H. Payne, whose white minivan is purported to have been stopped or searched at around 3:43 on Wednesday, was scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.
When investigators checked out the car close to the Capitol, many firearms were found, and three persons were taken into custody, according to the U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday. According to Capitol Police, the three informed the police that they were coming to give papers to the Supreme Court.
Threats against the court
According to Capitol police, Payne, 80, of Tunnel Hill, Georgia, was detained on a weapons charge, and his adult grandson was given to D.C. Disability Services. Along with them, a lady was held before being let go. According to Police, Payne will likely be charged with carrying a handgun without a license, possessing an unlicensed firearm, and possessing unregistered ammo.
A police dog alerted the officers when they saw a white vehicle being parked unlawfully, according to Capitol Police, which caused them to search. One of the males admitted to having a gun, which is still prohibited on Capitol grounds. According to Capitol Police, officers also discovered a pipe and containers in the car, two firearms, and a shotgun. In addition, a hazmat crew was requested to search the van.
The adjoining Supreme Court was closed on Wednesday, although security had been tightened. After many judges received threats this spring, an eight-foot barrier was built around the court, and it was taken down in August.