A video shows an Addison, Texas police officer getting more than he bargained for when he pulled Scott Richardson, a so-called “sovereign citizen,” over for speeding.
Richardson, 49, argues with and talks over the officer from the start. “Can I get your badge number. Can I get your badge number,” Richardson drones over the cop, who identifies himself and says his badge number. The exchange ends when the cop appears to finally lose patience after asking numerous times for Richardson’s ID, swings open his baton and smashes his driver’s side window to unlock the door.
The exchange took place on May 2 after Richardson was caught driving 50 mph in a 40 mph speed zone, the Houston Chronicle reports. According to the YouTube video which appears to have been uploaded by Richardson, it was 9:30 a.m. and he was on his way to work.
After the officer asks him twice for his license and proof of insurance, Richardson, without changing his tone, says, “Mmkay, let me ask you a question. As a man, what right do you have to stop another man?” He then insists it is not illegal to speed in Texas.
“Mmkay, I’m still having to ask you a question here,” Richardson says, when the cop warns him he’ll be arrested for failure to identify.
“That’s not how this works,” the officer responds.
“That is how this works,” Richardson insists.
At nearly four minutes in, after calling for back-up and having it arrive, the cop can be seen rubbing his palms together and growing agitated. He grabs his baton and yells, “open your window now, or I’m gonna bust it out.”
“Now you’re, now you’re going, okay I need you to call an… I need you to get your supervisor out here, I need your supervisor out here.” Richardson continues, even as things grow heated. He still does not show his ID, even though the cop, now with baton in hand, keeps asking for it.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the sovereign citizens movement has been growing since the late 2000s, and consists of people who hold “truly bizarre, complex antigovernment beliefs.”
They are no laughing matter, SPLC notes.
Sovereigns believe that they — not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials — get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and they don’t think they should have to pay taxes. Sovereigns are clogging up the courts with indecipherable filings and when cornered, many of them lash out in rage, frustration and, in the most extreme cases, acts of deadly violence, usually directed against government officials.
In the video, Richardson is pulled out the car and while his phone tossed aside, the cop can be heard cuffing him and saying, “you are under arrest for failure to identify.”
Watch the exchange here: