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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

Tags: West Memphis (Ark.) PD, Sovereign Citizens, Police Chiefs


Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Frank @ 5/17/2011 6:41 AM

Sorry for your lost Chief Paudert. Their's just too many LEO's dying in this country and something needs to change. Maybe a 50 state death penalty for shooting a cop. Where is the push from all the LEO's in this country?? Wake-up before we lose anymore! Obviously our states and counties figure you are expendable.

Mike @ 5/17/2011 10:44 AM

Chief Paudert, If you need back-up, we'll be there.

A Bey @ 5/25/2011 10:42 PM

Not all of us carry guns and seek to cause any problems here...many if not most of us just want what the Constitution of America offers and what so many who flock to this land seek...true freedom under the Laws of God...and not the business man or politician. I am truly saddened by the loss of any life and hope that justice is administered in its proper fashion to your liking as well as to those whom are left feeling unfulfilled. Stand tall and live long for your son Sir and keep the faith that has made you the man you are today.

May God keep you and bless you and all righteous men and women the same, Peace.

Charlene @ 5/10/2013 11:48 AM

Lets see the stats on all the regular people who are killed by out of control cops who are our public servants and have 60 minutes report that. HELLO!!

Luke @ 6/5/2013 7:23 PM

That is a great question Charlene there is no accountability for police on this side of the issue but if we the people defend ourselves it becomes terrorism, interesting. I wonder whose thinking is really messed up here....I for one do not believe that killing my fellow Americans is beneficial in anyway I would much rather educate them to their oath of office and point out how they are violating it by serving their corporate masters by getting them revenue though tickets and bogus traffic violations. Our country needs to return to common law, so that private prisons and their corrupt interests in putting people in prisons to make money can stop violating my rights.

ROBERT PERSING SR. @ 6/15/2013 1:51 PM

THE SHOOTING OF THE TWO COPS IS AGAINST OUR COMMON LAW GOD GIVEN NATURAL RIGHTS. ~ SO THE ONES WHO WERE STOPED WENT TOO FAR AS FAR AS IM CONCERNED! ~ MOST COPS ALL THINK THAT THEY ARE "GODS" AND WE HAVE TO BOW DOWN AND TAKE WHAT EVER THEY SAY AS LAW! ~ WELL SCREW THEM THAT REFUSE TO UP HOLD THE CONSTITUTION AND OUR NATURAL GOD GIVEN RIGHTS! ~ THAT MEANS THIS SEX CRAZED LYING GOVERNMENT OF TODAY AS WELL!! ~ OUR FORE FATHERS PUT A GOVERNMENT IN PLACE AND I WILL STAND FIRM ON THE BILL OF RIGHTS! ~ THE LAW INFORCEMENT BETTER REMEMBER THAT THEIR OATH OF OFFICE WAS TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION NOT THE BANKERS OR THE GOVERNMENTS AGENDA!! ~ I SUPORT THE 2ND AMENDMENT AS WELL!! ~ SO LETS FACE THE FACTS AND NOT THE AGENDAS OR SMOKE SCREENS! ~ THIS COUNTRY IS NOW RUN ON ADMIRALTY LAW AND NOT COMMON LAW AS ORIGINALY SET UP BY OUR FORE FATHERS!! ~ LETS FACE THE FACTS!!! ~ AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE!

B.T. Roberts @ 8/24/2013 6:03 AM

Holy Sh_t: I thought you had to be a LEO or related to post here, to subscribe to the magazine; apparently this is not true anymore because A Bey, Mike, Charlene, Luke and Robert certainly do not fit into the category.
Listen you POS’s I knew those young Men, I know their Fathers; they were doing nothing other than their Jobs, Pulling over a Van for a traffic Violation.
It was the Loud mouthed, conceited, arrogant, twisted, F__K in that van that jumped out and elevated that encounter to Murder and attempted Murder.
F you chicken Sh_t Aholes for posting your GARBAGE on this site!
I ADORE the United States Constitution and its original Ten Amendments, and I believe in your right of freedom of thought and expression, but that does not mean I will allow you to say STUPID S_HIT, and not call you an A_HOLE for doing it, or kick your ass if need be.

David Watson @ 8/25/2013 8:22 PM

Mr. Persing; it is Law Enforcement, not Law Inforcement.
And yes Mr. Persing, there are many cops who think they are "gods". I wish this were not true. However it has been my pleasure for the past 17 years to work with good officers, who are just trying to do the best job they can, with what they are handed.
I have wanted for many years to state publicly that although we are "public servants", most persons don't understand that doesn't make us your servant.
As with most of the anti-cop rants I see here, and elsewhere; there seems to be a general misunderstanding from the citizenry. You are the reason laws have gotten out of control. We are stuck with the crap laws given to us by idiots, that you, the good citizen, elect.
Why don't you direct your hatred correctly, at yourself. Work to change the laws you don't like. I am sure most cops don't like the same laws.
I would like all cops would take about a month off, all at once. Would the cop hater quit complaining? ..... I doubt it.

lawman103 @ 8/26/2013 6:07 AM

I wish I had the time to go out and get on every anti-government, police hating website and blast them on the comment section but I don't. They are probably blowing all the hard-working cops tax money by collecting welfare, food stamps, and everything else they can suck out of our bankrupt country which would explain their idle time and sense of entitlement. It is actually getting irritating Police Magazine lets any psycho on here to read law enforcement specific news and training material, then blast its membership in the comment section. I'll bet we can't read or subscribe to, or comment on these "soverign" websites except for their general propaganda on the home page. Why not make everyone sign in with a registed emai account that is on a subscription list? This is not the NY Times, this is a professional and educational publication for cops - or so I thought. Ignorant is the only tame descriptor I can come up with for the domestic terrorists posting on here. God Bless America

Bones @ 10/7/2013 9:24 PM

The article is of half truths at best , for the police officers and so called sovereigns please do research for yourselves. It is written in a passive aggressive style and used strictly as propaganda and a magazine that claims to be written for the fine men and women of the police force for their awareness and benefit you have accomplished just the opposite you should be ashamed. this actually leads the officer into a false sense of security especially in the legal arena. I'm neither an officer or a sovereign citizen. But what I do know is law and the officer(s) liabilities when dealing with sovereigns. Please take notice : billing of time, court costs, liens, loss of immunity, loss of office, all stated here but not limited to, are legitimate cases lost by an officer. Please for both parties research it yourself, it's your ass on the line, and your ass in court. I have submitted to stations, troops, classes if willing to understand why, how, sovereigns are able to dismiss, counterclaim, sue, liens etc .. The information is available, know the truth and the facts, If you have any questions from either officer or sovereigns please reply and leave contact info

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