"Sovereigns are a group of people that believe basically they are above the law" Retired Law Enforcement Officer Bob Paudert said.
It's no surprise that kind of mentality can lead to problems.
Bob Paudert says those problems are often dangerous ones.
After all, it was this mentality that led to the murder of Paudert's son... Sergeant Brandon Paudert and another officer in West Memphis.
A traffic stop gone bad...
"When you stop them they'll roll the window down a couple inches and they wont get out of the car they talk through the crack of the window and say do you have the right to stop and detain me illegally...a lot will tell you they're sovereigns” Paudert said.
"They’ll tell you, you don’t have to pay your mortgage you don’t have to pay taxes, you don’t have to have your vehicle registered in the state, you don’t have insurance...they take care of that most cars are registered to the kingdom of heaven." Paudert said.
There are around three hundred thousand sovereign citizens in the US...and it seems Alabama is a popular place for them to live.
"Alabama Houston County area within a hundred miles is one of the largest concentrations of idenified believers of sovereign citizen ideals."
The biggest piece of advice Paudert can give to officers ...is if you think you may be approaching a sovereign...go back to your car and call for backup.
Officers believe this seminar was needed…and they are glad they have learned information that can keep them safe.
Most seminars no matter which ones we attend are continued education for officers safety and give the officers understandings of threat levels that could be on the street. It's always beneficial to all officers no matter if they are brand new or have twenty five years experience." Houston County Sheriff Captain Antonio Gonzales said.
“The people are no different than foreign terrorists. they are the same. they are willing to kill and be killed for their beliefs.” Paudert said.
Paudert says sometimes you can spot a sovereign citizen by their bumper stickers they have on their car.
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