Sovereign citizens; FBI calls them domestic terrorists, group sa - New York News

Sovereign citizens; FBI calls them domestic terrorists, group says law enforcement is their enemy

Posted: Updated:
  • Special ReportsMore>>

  • Arizona team plans mission to investigate asteroid

    Arizona team plans mission to investigate asteroid

    It will take 21 years and close to 1 billion dollars. But if all goes well, a University of Arizona scientist will make history when a NASA spacecraft returns part of an asteroid that could one day impact earth.It's a mission that could be de-railed by what is happening in Ukraine.
    It will take 21 years and close to 1 billion dollars. But if all goes well, a University of Arizona scientist will make history when a NASA spacecraft returns part of an asteroid that could one day impact earth.It's a mission that could be de-railed by what is happening in Ukraine.
  • Company offers dinners ready to cook for busy families

    Company offers dinners ready to cook for busy families

    How does a home cooked meal sound without cooking at home? A new kitchen is there for those wanting the taste of a home cooked dinner.Making dinner is a process. There's planning, shopping, prepping, chopping and cooking.
    How does a home cooked meal sound without cooking at home? A new kitchen is there for those wanting the taste of a home cooked dinner.Making dinner is a process. There's planning, shopping, prepping, chopping and cooking.
  • Arizona agency tracks radiation: tests regularly for any problems

    Arizona agency tracks radiation: tests regularly for any problems

    From licensing tanning beds, to keeping track of radioactive material, and monitoring the air outside of the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant. All of this is the responsibility of the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency. It's part of their job to keep the public safe.
    From licensing tanning beds, to keeping track of radioactive material, and monitoring the air outside of the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant. All of this is the responsibility of the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency. It's part of their job to keep the public safe.
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Law enforcement throughout the nation and here in Arizona are concerned about the sovereign citizen movement. The FBI considers sovereign citizen extremists a "domestic terrorist movement, which has existed for decades."

One well-known member was Terry Nichols who helped plan the Oklahoma City bombing.

Two West Memphis, Arkansas police officers shot and killed by sovereign citizens extremists, during a traffic stop in 2010.     

Dash cameras from the officers squad cars captured the murder and the heartbreaking moment where the West Memphis Police Chief, Bob Paudert, wearing a white shirt pushed past a sergeant to find one of the fallen officers was his son, Brandon.

"I had a passion at one time for law enforcement, for 45 years. I lost that passion the day I stood over Brandon on the interstate; it left and never came back," said Bob Paudert.

Now, Paudert travels the country, with the department of justice alerting law enforcement to the sovereign citizen movement, he was in Tempe last month.

"My new passion is reaching as many officers as I can in this country, to tell them about the dangers of sovereign citizens," said Paudert.

Captain Steve Harrison with the Arizona Department of Public Safety estimates DPS officers have encountered several hundred sovereign citizens in the last couple years.

"Most of our encounters with the movement have been non-violent they are argumentative sometimes uncooperative," said Capt. Harrison.

According to the FBI, sovereign citizens believe federal, state and local governments operate illegally. They follow their own set of laws and often do not acknowledge the court system.

Some create false license plates or refuse to pay taxes but others have been associated with financial schemes and threatening law enforcement officers.

"They will file liens and lawsuits against our officers and their property," said Harrison.

"We're seeing a tactic lately where they will do what we call a phone tree; they'll get stopped by a police officer, and they'll call on their phone and 5 or 10 other friends will show up at a traffic stop, which makes that traffic stop that much more dangerous to our officers and the public," he said.

"The majority of the sovereigns are not dangerous, but the extremists, and they are growing in numbers, are extremely dangerous to law enforcement because they have said recently within the last year that law enforcement is their enemy," said Paudert.

According to the FBI, since 2000, sovereign citizen extremists have killed at least 6 law enforcement officers.

"I am encouraging every officer who comes into contact with sovereign to have a backup unit, never approach a sovereign citizen alone never. It's extremely dangerous," he said.

Paudert teaches officers how to identify sovereign citizens. Moments before he was shot and killed, Brandon Paudert can be seen looking at a pile of paperwork given to him by the people he pulled over an indication they were sovereign citizens.

Only at the time, the West Memphis Police Department had never heard of the movement.

"Now I am totally convinced had Brandon and Bill had that information they'd be alive today," he said.

Paudert says sovereign citizens often use signatures followed by a copyright symbol, sometimes they'll write in certain colors.

"I have a security agreement, a long number," said Michael Crane.

Sovereign citizens can use peculiar language in court too like Michael Crane did.

"I don't know what country you're in sir. I know what country i'm in," he said.

Michael Crane is accused of killing Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro in Paradise Valley in 2012.

"It's not apparent that the sovereign citizen movement had anything to do with that homicide, but he certainly espouses that type of rhetoric," said Harrison.

Harrison says it's hard to say how many sovereign citizens are in Arizona, but Paudert says the movement is growing nationwide.

Harrison says his officers haven't had any violent encounters with sovereign citizen extremists yet.

"And that's our concern is as this movement grows that it could lead to a West Memphis type of incident," he said.

The father and son who killed the West Memphis police officers in 2010, were killed in a shootout with police later that day.

We reached out to several people claiming to be sovereign citizens, but none of them wanted to comment for this story.
Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Girl drowns off Coney Island

    Girl drowns off Coney Island

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:07:25 GMT
    A girl from Staten Island apparently drowned off Coney Island Beach Tuesday evening, police said. Good Samaritans pulled Takara McDuffy, 10, and a 9-year-old girl from the water near Stillwell Avenue at about 7 p.m., the NYPD said. Medics took McDuffy to Coney Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.
    A girl from Staten Island apparently drowned off Coney Island Beach Tuesday evening, police said. Good Samaritans pulled Takara McDuffy, 10, and a 9-year-old girl from the water near Stillwell Avenue at about 7 p.m., the NYPD said. Medics took McDuffy to Coney Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.
  • 'Mortified': stage performers over share

    'Mortified': stage performers over share

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:56:08 GMT
    Some might call Jenn Wehrung a performance artist. Others, more simply, a masochist. This Brooklynite shares her deepest innermost thoughts from 6th grade in a show perhaps best summed up by its name: "Mortified."Wehrung is 37, single, and claims to have $37 in her bank account.Financially poor maybe, the ensemble real-life characters of "Mortified" are all filthy rich in memories.
    Some might call Jenn Wehrung a performance artist. Others, more simply, a masochist. This Brooklynite shares her deepest innermost thoughts from 6th grade in a show perhaps best summed up by its name: "Mortified."Wehrung is 37, single, and claims to have $37 in her bank account.Financially poor maybe, the ensemble real-life characters of "Mortified" are all filthy rich in memories.
  • FAA bans U.S. flights to Tel Aviv airport

    FAA bans U.S. flights to Tel Aviv airport

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:39 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:39:02 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices