The Nevada County Sheriff’s office has identified the suspect accused in the shooting of two officers recently.
When Brent Douglas Cole allegedly opened fire on a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) range and a California Highway Patrol cop in July 2014, it was the second shooting in a month that a Cliven Bundy supporter fired on law enforcement authorities. Jerad and Amanda Miller murdered two police officers and a third man in a shooting rampage earlier the same month.
The circumstances behind Cole’s actions were different. While authorities were reluctant to state what set the incident off, Cole had been involved in a confrontation with the BLM ranger and police officer. The confrontation grew into a gun fight.
Observers of the shootout report that a federal BLM official asked for backup at a wooded campsite a few miles from Lake Tahoe. When an officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) arrived, the two officers into the brush and approached a remote makeshift campsite. That’s when they were confronted by 60-year old Cole.
Gunfire was exchanged between Cole and the two officers with Cole hit by several rounds. Both the BLM ranger and CHIP officer suffered minor injuries and were treated at released at local hospitals.
Cole was taken, in custody, to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition in the ICU.
Cole has had several run-ins with law enforcement. The most recent happened on January 26 when he was arrested by Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with having a concealed weapon.
Cole had described himself as a “sovereign citizen” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a watch dog group for right-wing extremists and ideologies. Being a self-proclaimed “sovereign citiaen” means a person believes that they — not judges, juries or the police — get to decide which laws to ignore and which to follow. Another characteristic of a sovereign citizen is the belief that should not have to pay taxes.
Besides declaring himself a sovereign citizen, Cole also was convinced he was the focus of a government conspiracy. Cole described the government oppression in court papers he filed, as observed by our criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas.
In addition to claiming sovereign citizenship, Cole’s Twitter and Facebook accounts show a miixture of conspiracy theories and “legal documents” filed by Cole in Nevada County.
The accounts and documents reveal Cole’s interests and how him to be a piece of work. He is a chemtrails enthusiast, birther, a victim of persecution for being a gun owner.
Some of the ramblings in the court documents, filed in response to the concealed weapon charge, screams “Sovereign Citizen” as well.
Here’s one excerpt:
“Comes down the man, Brent-Douglas Cole, a native born, tissue and blood, living person with this signed response to the “criminal charges” facing me: My status in this court is as a governmental officer; particularly spared from these laws: But this forum has declined to recognize my standing that must be defined to adjudicate this case.”
The documents continue to ramble and Cole’s primary defense appears to be that the 2nd Amendment is untouchable as Cole has declared himself “a statutory Attorney General of the United States.”
If convicted, Cole faces up to twenty-years in prison on each count.