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'60 Minutes' Profiles Sovereign Citizen Movement

May 16, 2011  | 

A segment on television news magazine "60 Minutes" profiled the sovereign citizen movement and its members who killed two West Memphis (Ark.) Police officers a year ago at a traffic stop.

The segment, which aired Sunday, featured an interview with West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert, whose son Brandon was killed along with Officer Bill Evans by sovereign citizen Jerry Kane and his son, Joe. The officers were shot along Interstate 40 at Airport Road around noon on May 20.

The officers were armed with .40-caliber handguns, and exchanged fire with Joe Kane who fired an AK-47 rifle.

Sovereign citizens are Americans who believe the country's laws don't apply to them. They ignore requirements such as driver's licenses and social security cards and oftentimes don't pay taxes.

In the interview, Chief Paudert warned of the dangers sovereign citizens pose to law enforcement. Chief Paudert travels around the country, providing training to other law enforcement agencies about how to identify and deal with sovereign citizens.

"If they want to come after me, I am very easy to find," Chief Paudert said. "[I'm] the police chief in West Memphis, Arkansas, 7 miles west of Memphis. If they want to come after me I have absolutely no problem with it and might even like it."

By Paul Clinton

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