Feds bust Oath Keeper, Michael Jackson impersonator
Supply: Division of Justice
James Beeks, 49, was carrying what seems to be his reproduction Michael Jackson “Unhealthy” tour jacket when he marched in a so-called stack formation with different Oath Keepers up the Capitol’s east steps and “stormed into” the complicated with “a mob of individuals” by doorways guarded by cops, a court docket submitting reveals.
Beeks’ “Unhealthy” garb made him stand out from different Oath Keepers, a lot of whom wore camouflage throughout the riot, in line with authorities.
The Orlando, Florida, resident, who performs beneath the stage title James T. Justis, was seen earlier this month by authorities performing as Judas in a nationwide touring firm of “Jesus Christ Famous person” in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the submitting says.
Beeks beforehand appeared on Broadway in “Kinky Boots,” “Aida,” “Ragtime,” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”
His YouTube web page, which has the username “jdmoonwalker … describes him as ‘one of many Prime Michael Jackson Tribute artists within the US,'” the submitting says.
Final December, Beeks made an annual membership fee to Oath Keepers Inc., in line with the submitting.
Supply: Division of Justice
Beeks was arrested in Milwaukee, the place his present started performances Tuesday. He was launched after showing in federal court docket in Wisconsin.
He’s charged with obstructing a continuing of Congress, and with coming into restricted grounds with the aim of disrupting authorities enterprise.
The case is being prosecuted within the U.S. District Court docket in Washington, D.C., the place greater than 15 different Oath Keepers and greater than 600 different riot defendants are additionally charged in reference to the assault on the Capitol.
That riot started after two months of false claims by then-President Donald Trump that he really received the 2020 election, and that President Joe Biden’s victory was solely the results of widespread poll fraud.
On Jan. 6, Trump spoke at a rally for supporters exterior the White Home. He urged the group to march to the Capitol and protest what was then an ongoing joint session of Congress within the technique of confirming Biden’s Electoral School win.
Then-Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over that session and ended up accepting the outcomes, regardless of arguments by Trump and different allies that he ought to reject them.
A demonstrator wears an Oath Keepers anti-government group badge on a protecting vest throughout a protest exterior the Supreme Court docket in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures
A whole bunch of Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol because the rally ended. A lot of them ended up coming into the buildings after pushing by cops.
Video and nonetheless photographs taken throughout the riot present Beeks carrying a black jacket with the phrase “BAD” written on the left breast, black pants, a black helmet, goggles and a neck gaiter, the court docket submitting says. The doc provides that he was “carrying what seems to be a black defend.”
An Oath Keeper member who earlier pleaded responsible in a Capitol riot case instructed authorities that Beeks joined up with a gaggle of Oath Keepers who walked from the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. to the Capitol.
Beeks instructed the opposite member, whose title was not included within the submitting, “that he had not too long ago joined the Oath Keepers, that he was from Orlando, and that he had been following” the social media posts of the group’s chief, Kelly Meggs.
Some members of that mob “attacked officers in making an attempt to achieve entry into the Capitol, whereas yelling, ‘Take their shields,’ ‘Our home,’ and ‘We Need Trump!,'” the submitting says. “Attackers assaulted officers utilizing pepper spray, flagpoles, and quite a few improvised weapons and projectiles.”
Authorities stated Beeks was a part of a gaggle of “Stack One” members who cut up off after coming into the Capitol Rotunda, then tried to drive their manner by a line of cops guarding the hallway that led to the Senate chamber. That group was forcibly repelled, the submitting says.
The opposite half of Stack One headed to the Home of Representatives. One member of that splinter group later stated they had been on the lookout for Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in line with the submitting.
The submitting notes that “Regulation enforcement positioned open supply images of an individual who seems to be Beeks carrying” the identical “Unhealthy” tour jacket that was seen on the particular person photographed throughout the Capitol riot.
The submitting contains “images [that] had been posted on Instagram on April 4, 2020, by an individual who included the hashtag #jesuschristsuperstar.”
“In line with a web based solid itemizing, the one that posted the images on Instagram is an actor in a touring manufacturing of the play Jesus Christ Famous person,” the submitting says. “Beeks, beneath the stage title ‘James T. Justis,’ can also be an actor in that very same manufacturing.”
In an interview final month about “Jesus Christ Famous person,” Beeks talked in regards to the present and its that means.
“The identical people who praised him – praised Jesus and supported him are the identical people who tore him down,” Beeks stated. “I really feel numerous reflection in our society at present. And I believe artwork imitates life.”
Beeks additionally talked in regards to the character of Judas, who within the Gospels betrays Jesus to the Romans, who’ve him crucified.
He stated in that interview with Equality 365 that Judas within the present is “extra of a hero.”
“This manufacturing leaves us with a query about his function,” Beeks stated. “I do not take a look at it as Judas being a nasty man. I believe he’s a hero. I’m honored to be the archetype of Judas and to provide him a voice.”
“I need individuals to have a look at Judas in a special gentle and from totally different views. He wasn’t a nasty man, and was solely doing what he needed to do,” he stated.