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IACP article on Law Enforcement Encounters with Sovereign Citizens

1/7/2016 12:00:00 AM

Law Enforcement Encounters with Sovereign Citizens from the

International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP) Committee on Terrorism

The May 20, 2010, fatal shooting of two West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers and the wounding of two others, allegedly by "sovereign citizens" Jerry and Joe Kane, served to remind the law enforcement community of the threat that may be presented by sovereign citizens.On August 16, 2012, two sheriff's deputies were fatally shot and two others were wounded during two confrontations in Louisiana. At least one of the individuals arrested in connection with these incidents had previously proclaimed himself to be a sovereign citizen.2These violent confrontations were not the first that sovereign citizens had with law enforcement. Others have occurred in Texas, Wisconsin, and Ohio, to name a few. In September 2010, a man in West Odessa, Texas, who held sovereign citizen views, shot and wounded three people, including two sheriff's deputies who lawfully came onto his property to access an oil well. It was only after a 22-hour standoff that the man surrendered. In April 2009, in Richland County, Wisconsin, a man with sovereign citizen views was sentenced to 48 years in prison after a 2008 standoff at his property that began when he opened fire on sheriff's deputies who were attempting to evict him for nonpayment of taxes. In August 2002, a routine car stop ended in Massillon, Ohio, with the shooting death of a police officer by a man who expressed sovereign citizen views and referred to himself as a "constitutionalist."Sovereign Citizen Ideologyclick here for full articlein the January 2016 Police Chief Magazine
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