On March 24, a four-page letter was sent to Illinois State Police Director, Sam Nolen, requesting a meeting to discuss the relationship between state police and the Militia. On April 13, Thomas Jefferson's birthday, Militia Captain Dan Shoemaker called the Director's office to request a meeting. The next day when he called again Captain Shoemaker was told by a subordinate, Lt. Rob Copeland, that no such meeting would occur.
In late October, 1997, a state police helicopter crashed, killing the pilots, a Chicago policeman and a state trooper. Based on prior observations, it is likely they were training for the helicopter insertion and extraction of ground surveillance personnel to spy on the Militia throughout the state. This and other unlawful and inappropriate activities which the Illinois state police have participated in against the Militia were listed as complaints in the letter to the Director. Other complaints listed included illegal or inappropriate electronic surveillance, surveillance intended to intimidate Militiamen, unlawfully attempting to disrupt or disperse the Militia, and participation in unlawful tampering with patriot's mail.
Of considerable concern has been the successful attempt by police to prevent public access meetings of the Militia throughout Illinois. This is always done behind the scenes, causing businesses who have rented space to the Militia to cancel their agreements. The cancellation of the people's first amendment right to peaceably assemble will not be tolerated in the future.
The total lack of response by the Director regarding these complaints may be seen as suspicious. If he denies these illegal acts and they are substantive, then he will be observed to be an ineffective leader or a partner in crime. By not speaking, the Director avoids public accountability. The Director's discourteous silence may signal that he would rather shoot than talk.
Is Director Nolen loyal to the United States Constitution? Another constitutional complaint listed against the state police regards their unconstitutional traffic safety roadblocks. Checkpoint Charlie has come to America, invited and sponsored by the Illinois State Police.
The Western Illinois Militia has done all it can to avoid a confrontation with police and to develop good relations with police while defending our constitutional Freedom. We formed up in 1995 to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Since that time we have paid our dues in the form of coping with government harassment. We are not a racist Militia. Our membership covers an area about one sixth of the state.
We say, ''DEATH TO TYRANTS. LONG LIVE LIBERTY. LONG LIVE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.''
March 24, 1999
Dan Shoemaker, Captain-- Western Illinois Militia
P.O. Box 556
Monmouth, II. 61462
Mr. Sam Nolen, Director-- Illinois State Police
125 East Monroe, Room 103
P.O. Box 19461
Springfield, IL. 62794-9461
Dear Director Nolen:
Greetings from the birthplace of Wyatt Earp! I am writing to you in my capacity as commanding officer of the Western Illinois Militia. In the spring of 1998 I asked the Militia membership for permission to begin contacting law enforcement leaders for the purpose of discussing the relationship between law enforcement and the Western Illinois Militia. Permission was granted. Now, a year later, many new leaders are taking charge of various police agencies throughout Illinois. This is a good opportunity for police leaders to assess the whole subject of the Western lllinois Militia and their relationship to it.
At this time I am requesting a personal meeting with you to talk about the relationship of the Illinois State Police with our Militia. In this letter I will try to give some compelling reasons why you should visit with me.
A few days after you receive this letter I will be calling you to ask if we can arrange a meeting. Of course you may call me anytime. I urge you to give this proposal proper consideration. We believe it is in the best interest of your agency and our Militia to communicate in such a way to avoid any potential confrontation between our organizations. We would like to develop better relations with police and to do all we can to prevent a confrontation with police. At the same time we strongly desire to be FREE.
I have monitored newspaper reports about you and your past career inside Illinois state law enforcement. Some of the things I learned about you give me hope that you will treat this subject with care and fairness. I personally believe that past efforts inside the Illinois State Police to deal with the militia movement statewide have been ill-advised and sometimes unlawful. I believe that the Western Illinois Militia is different from any other group you have heard about.
We must recognize that our group has a core membership which exists in an area covering about one sixth of the state. With 2000 state troopers in the field, it should be no surprise that one of your troopers has already had his hands on one of my soldiers. Be careful.
Please take the time to review the information which the state has regarding the Western Illinois Militia. I believe that the surveillance conducted by the enemy against me and our Militia has been pervasive. This has likely yielded large files of information which is in the possession of the state and federal governments. I have observed Illinois state police conduct surveillance against our Militia. At times in the history of our unit, which formed up in 1995, some of the surveillance was ''intimidation surveillance'' which was meant to be seen in order to intimidate Militia members.
I hope you agree that intimidation surveillance is a tool used by a police state to attempt to control the citizens.
I observe that since the modern Militia concept came to Illinois early in 1995 the federal government has initiated and/or supervised all anti-militia operations in Illinois. Various polIce departments in Illinois, including the state police, have cooperated with the FBI. The primary objective of these operations has been to eliminate all militia activities in Illinois
I want you to understand that while it may be acceptable to conduct surveillance to gain information about militia groups, it is improper and may be unlawful for government agents to attempt to eliminate any such political activity. Given the American tradition of the Militia during past wars in America it is un-American of you to continue to participate in these anti-militia operations.
The FBI has extensive files on the Western Illinois Militia. Ask to see all of them.
A number of laws and regulations have been broken by government agents in their anti-militia activities since 1995. State arid federal agents have participated in unlawful electronic eavesdropping. Agents have broken U. S. Postal laws to tamper with patriot mail. Agents have used other unlawful or inapproprIate surveillance methods.
A common unlawful activity which your troopers have participated in or condoned is the violation of citizens' right to peaceably assemble as stated in the first amendment to the U. S. Constitution. This is always done out of view of the public to prevent Militia people from planning a public access meeting. At our last annual public meeting I announced that if we can find out which government agents participate in this activity, they will be executed. This is a practical response to tyranny. If police and established justice would convict the agents responsible for this unconstitutional practice, then no Militia justice would be necessary.
I hope you realize that this is a political and not a criminal issue that we are discussing.
Whether or not you will be loyal to the Constitution of the United States is a fair question.
Enclosed are some newspaper articles which indicate that over the past two or three years the FBI has pulled its agents back from any enforcement role in anti-militia activities. Instead they have encouraged state and local police to take the front line role against the militia movement. To the FBI, your troopers are more expendable than their agents. One of the articles enclosed indicates that the book I wrote in 1994, U. S. Militiaman's Handbook, was featured on national television news.
Remember that during the State Police handling of the Roby affair, former Director Terry Gainer made appearances on national television to explain his motives and methods.
On a related subject, during a recent conversation with local law enforcement officers a deputy sheriff proposed a scenario with a confrontation between 20 militiamen and 50 policemen. We did not get to discuss that scenario, which I think is unrealistic. Do you understand that he was not discussing police work? Do you understand that he was discussing warfare?
It is very likely that if there is a confrontation between police arid the Western Illinois Militia it will be a national or international news story. You may have to appear on national television to explain why the United States Constitution and the constitutional Militia must be destroyed.
This letter is a formal and open request for a personal meeting to try to take the first step in avoiding an armed confrontation. We hope you take this opportunity to visit with us. If you do not meet with us and a confrontation occurs, you may have to explain to the nation why you chose not to try to avoid a political and law enforcement emergency. It is better to talk than to shoot, but we remain ready to defend our Liberty.
Oh the day the Roby affair ended in late October of 1997, what should have been a happy day for the Illinois State Police was actually a tragic day because the state police helicopter crashed, killing both pilots. One report stated that another state trooper on the ground was also injured.
No one questioned the fact that training missions at two or three o'clock in the morning are not routine. It is too bad that the real nature of the activity which led to that tragedy was kept secret from the citizens of Illinois.
It is likely that they were practicing to conduct inappropriate or unlawful surveillance. The mission which those police pilots were practicing for was the insertion and extraction of ground surveillance personnel to spy on the Militia. This was always done under cover of darkness.
This is the activity which was observed being done in our area. On at least two occasions a helicopter was observed after dark going down arid then ascending in wooded pastures. Evidence of ground surveillance was found on other occasions. I thought that this activity was being done by federal agents until your helicopter crashed performing the same maneuver that had been witnessed here.
Here is something to be considered. Losing two helicopter pilots from a million-man armed forces does not usually cause the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to lose sleep. Losing two Illinois policemen is very difficult. If you are not prepared to suffer casualties of war, then do not train for or engage in war-like activities.
On March 10, I visited by telephone with Mr. Mike Pippen and Mr. Bob Howlett.They were interested in video taping an interview with me for police training purposes. Whether or not I cooperate with them depends on your reaction to this letter. Why should I assist in training policemen if your agency is not interested in coexistence?
As I close this communication, there are some things you should know. The Western Illinois Militia is not a racist Militia.
I have stated for a long time now that if anyone should attempt to detain me for any reason I will begin immediately to resist.
I personally appreciate the public service given by policemen everywhere. However, unconstitutional conduct and the enforcement of unconstitutional law by policemen is wrong.
We are concerned that policemen have acted to degrade or destroy the first, second, and fourth amendments to the U. S. Constitution.
Regarding our fourth amendment right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure, the Illinois State Police are presently in violation of the U. S. Constitution. Traffic safety roadblocks are unconstitutional and are setting a further precedence for the institution of home safety inspections in the future.
It is unfortunate that some police practices from totalitarian countries are being used by the Illinois State Police. Checkpoint Charlie has come to America to stay, invited and sponsored by the Illinois State Police. What other police state activities would you like to bring here from foreign countries?
I would like to say that I am willing to come to your office to visit with you, but time and distance may require that we meet at a different location. You may wish to invite a reporter of your choice or your own public relations officer to any meeting. I would like to bring one other Militia member with me. After we have met or if you decide not to meet, then this letter and a report of our meeting will be released to the news media. We may also send this information to other law enforcement agencies. I hope you will reflect on the issues I have written about here. You are the leader of thousands of policemen throughout Illinois. You cannot say that someone else has ordered you to destroy or degrade the U. S. Constitution. You can be a powerful influence for positive change in police work in Illinois.
The Western Illinois Militia wants Illinois citizens to know that we have done all we can to avoid a confrontation with police and to develop good relations with police.
We would like to see policemen take positive steps to act on their oath to ''support and defend the Constitution of the United States.''
Dan W. Shoemaker,
Captain-- Western lllinois Militia