SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Local law enforcement are dealing with something that has become all too familiar to them recently – “Free Travelers”
It is a term authorities use to describe people who refuse to identify themselves. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies encountered a “free traveler” earlier this week. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said it is a situation that can not only be dangerous for deputies, but also the general public.
“These people think they don’t have to obey any laws, they don’t have to obey any authority, and hence they don’t need driver’s licenses or anything else,” Knezovich said.
When a deputy tried to pull over a man in Spokane Valley near Argonne and Mission, he refused to give the deputy his name and claimed he did not need a driver’s license.
“How do you talk to somebody that believes they know the constitution better than anybody else,” Knezovich said, “You know the whole incident down in Oregon is based on their own interpretations of constitutional law.”
In 2012, two men claiming to be sovereign citizens caused a three-hour standoff with law enforcement when they refused to get out of their truck after being pulled over. The SWAT team and even Sheriff Knezovich himself were called in, and deputies eventually had to cut their seat belts and pull them out of the vehicle.
“These can be very dangerous confrontations,” Knezovich said.
It is an issue law enforcement said they are keeping a close eye on because they said the threat these people pose is a very real one.