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Sunday, July 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

‘Sovereign’ citizens arrested after SWAT team standoff

Two men part of a growing “sovereign” movement that questions government authority were arrested in Otis Orchards today after a SWAT team standoff.

The men had pulled over at North Starr Road and East Kildea Road for deputies investigating invalid license plates on their truck but refused to exit the vehicle, said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

The truck was covered in sovereign citizen signs, including one that said it was a “noncommercial private vehicle” and “no trespassing.”

Knezovich joined SWAT team negotiators because self-proclaimed sovereigns typically recognize the sheriff as the highest law enforcement authority, he said.

“They were, thank goodness, nonviolent and it ended very well,” Knezovich said.

The men agreed to surrender but still refused to exit the vehicle. SWAT officers took them into custody with “minimal force,” Knezovich said, though they had to be cut from their seat belts.

The standoff started about 2 p.m. and ended about 4:30 p.m. The men’s names were not immediately available.

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