Anti-terrorism experts say lone white supremacists are the biggest threat in Canada
When Const. Curtis Rind pulled over a man without a valid driver’s licence during a routine traffic stop, he didn’t expect the man to start arguing that it was his god-given right to use the road.
But the man was part of an emerging group of domestic terrorists that police have been notified to be on the look out for because of their anti-government beliefs.
They’re called ‘freeman’ or ‘sovereign citizens,’ and basically believe the law doesn’t apply to them, and they shouldn’t have to pay taxes, Rind said.
Rind, an officer in southwest division, first learned about freeman citizens a few years ago through notices and information bulletins circulating throughout the police service. In the last six months, Rind said freeman citizens have increased their presence in the city and now seem to be all over the place.
‘When you engage with these individuals in conversation, they quickly make it known who they are and what they’re about. They try to explain that we’re breaching their rights,’ said Rind, noting some of them have scripted notes they’ve practiced and explain to officers that they’re impeding their freedom to move freely throughout the country. Some even spout common law from the 1800s.
‘It can be a little off-putting as a police officer because almost 98% of the people we deal with understand why they’ve been stopped and are usually apologetic and easy to deal with. These guys go 180 degrees in the opposite direction.’