A “sovereign citizen” who was pulled over for driving without a seatbelt got more than he bargained for when he tried to talk his way out of a fine with bogus legal jargon.
The man, who repeatedly insisted he was a “living man”, filmed his entire 11-minute exchange with two Victorian police officers and shared the footage online.
The incident is the latest in a growing list of encounters between police and sovereign citizens, who believe they are immune from the rule of law and often clog up the courts by attempting to challenge the authority of the state.
The clip starts with the man behind the camera asking a male senior constable if he’s under an oath, to which the officer declines to comment.
Two Victorian police officers are being applauded for the way they handled an entitled sovereign citizen. Picture: Twitter / @CookerWatch
He refuses to accept the answer, resulting in some backchat before a second female constable steps in.
“We’re sworn in under an oath or an affirmation, depending on what you choose. I’m sworn under an oath but he may be sworn in under an affirmation,” she says, referring to her partner.
After some more debate, the man asks the officers “are you policing by consent or by force?”
The discussion then shifts to why the man was pulled over by police, with the man asking if he had been detained or if he was free to leave.
“Do you understand the difference between detained and arrest? Arrest means that I revoke your human rights, detained means that we’re here to ascertain what has occurred,” the senior constable explains calmly.
“What I’m saying to you today is … that you are unfortunately travelling without your seatbelt today.”
The driver denies he is guilty of the infringement before the officer informs him he will still be getting a fine in the mail.
“I don’t consent to any of this,” the man says, resulting in another calm response from the patient cop.
“I’ve still got to go through this process, I understand that you’re not going to want to consent, that’s completely fine,” he says.
“There are further tickets and infringements and things that may come as a penalty of it, however we do have to go through the process and I’ll be as polite to you as I possibly can.”
The female constable was able to find the man’s address when looking up his vehicle registration. Picture: Twitter / @CookerWatch
The argument escalates as the man filming refuses to give the officers his name and address, demanding they “cite the law” that requires him to provide his personal details.
“It’s the summary offences act which is 458,” the officer replies.
“(That’s) an act not a law,” the man says, before bizarrely asking “do you agree I am a man?”.
The officer politely declines to assume his gender and after some more debate asks again for the driver to provide his name and address.
Eventually the man provides his name but remains reluctant to give his address, forcing the officer to explain the repercussions his actions could have.
“Failing to provide your name and address, I can’t ensure your appearance in court and therefore I need to detain you or arrest you for the purpose of identifying you,” he says.
As discussion over whether the sovereign citizen has broken a law continues, the senior constable invites the man to search the law on his phone.
He begins to stutter and appears to grow more agitated while the officer remains calm.
After five more minutes of debate, the female officer eventually pulls up the vehicle’s registration and obtains the man’s address.
In defeat, the sovereign citizen accuses the officers of being bullies, claiming they are using guns to “intimidate” him.
“You’re smirking at me … you’ve got another person rolling up here with your guns trying to intimidate me and threatening to arrest me for you thinking arbitrarily that I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt,” the man says.
A Senior Constable gave the man a run for his money with some smart comebacks. Picture: Twitter / @CookerWatch
In a final roast, the male officer responds: “There was no way I used the word arbitrarily, I couldn’t use it in a sentence … we’ve got your name and address so I’m satisfied that we’ve got your identity so you’re free to go.”
Viewers of the video applauded the Senior Constable’s handling of the situation, with many suggesting they wouldn’t have had the self-restraint to stay patient with the man.
“I started listening and my annoyance factor was too high to continue. I don’t know how you can deal with this stuff all day and night and stay sane, and sober,” one woman said.
Another viewer added: “astonishing. The patience of police is extraordinary”.
News.com.au has contacted Victoria Police regarding the matter.
This latest video joins a number of viral arrests and exchanges between police and sovereign citizens, with most using the same tactics including identifying themselves as a “living man” and not carrying a driver’s licence.
In December, a South Australian driver had his window smashed by an officer after he failed to provide his driver’s licence.
Smug sovereign citizen tries to ‘educate’ copSovereign allegedly intimidated host’s ‘little girl’
Meanwhile, a woman who was driving without a licence or number plates claimed she didn’t need them when she was pulled over by NSW police because she was “going sovereign”.
Then in a 17-minute clip posted online, a long debate between Victoria Police and a sovereign citizen resulted in a man being arrested for failing to provide his name and address at a traffic stop.