Do you know how to pull over a police officer? Did you know this was even possible?

When Gavin Seim of Washington state saw a police officer driving an unmarked car, he took the opportunity to exercise his right as a sovereign citizen – and pulled the cop over. His footage of the encounter has since gone viral.

What had the police officer done wrong?

Seim informed the officer he was in violation of a Washington law prohibiting law enforcement from using unmarked vehicles unless designated for “special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.” In the process, he demonstrated one way to keep our government accountable. What a great example of self-governance.

Seim’s actions brilliantly address several issues at the same time. On the surface, he’s concerned for the safety of people in his community and the integrity of the police. Using unmarked vehicles for patrolling and traffic stops makes it much easier for some to impersonate the police for less-than-protective reasons. Law enforcement officers also shouldn’t “slink around and entrap, so they can write folks up (read tax) for petty faults,” says Seim. He gave the example of a young woman being stopped for speeding late at night. If the police car isn’t marked, should she pull over? It becomes a question of safety for the public at large.

But the biggest issue here is making sure our government knows from where its authority comes, and to whom it is accountable. “It’s about a government that respects and obeys the people, their rights and the law,” Seim wrote after the encounter. We don’t have to feel powerless to respond to our government – we just need to know our rights and exercise them.

When talking the officer, Seim was polite yet insistent. Obviously knowledgeable about the law in question, he required the officer to show ID then explained the law he was violating. Instead of reporting the officer to the sheriff’s office (which was a valid option), he asked him to follow up with his supervisor to have the issue addressed.

To the officer’s credit, he cooperated and listened to what Seim had to say without being rude.

As the founder of Citizens for Self-Governance, I love it when Americans govern themselves. We all used to. In fact, when this nation was founded, the government acted only to protect life, liberty and property. Now, it has encroached into every area of life, so we mindlessly obey the myriad of rules, regulations, and codes that they hand out.

However, the citizens should be aware of the laws and be able to make crucial decisions themselves.

Who decides?

According to the founders and Constitution, we do. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see someone finally acting like it.

Watch footage of their interaction below. Seim follows up with some great reasoning for citizens holding their government accountable. Make sure you watch to the end. Seriously, this guy is an inspirational example of self-governance at work.

For legal notes on the law in question and updates on Seim’s follow-up conversations with the Sheriff’s department, visit his website.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

2 Responses

  1. Ky

    This is stupid and has nothing to do do with what the tea party is about because I am about ad Tea Party as you can get with out becoming a wierdo soverign citizen flake. Do you think the police officer went and bought the police car himself and issued it to himself. You seem to be more on the side of criminals instead of those who we depend on to protect us from those criminals by making it more difficult for them to do their job. If you are not a criminal, you have nothing to fear from 99.9999999% of police. The other very very small percentage who do not belong there eliminate them selves. Your publication of this non sense only serves to enflame people to hate those who are out there sacrificing their lives for us as it is.

  2. [email protected]

    Having over thirty four years in (Florida) Law Enforcement……I think I’m safe to say your head needs pulled out of your backside…if possible!
    First of all YOUR argument, which is shaky at best, should be taken up with the Sheriff/Chief of Police NOT the “working ant”.
    I can assure you OUR Officers, after being stopped by you to ARGUE and “law” you NEVER DID STATE or GIVE THE STATUTE in which you were running your mouth about….I would have driven off and left you talking to yourself! AND, if that would have been ANOTHER senseless reason for you to stop me…you could have ridden WITH me….BUT you’d be in the backseat with stainless steel on your wrist! Then you could BOND out of jail, pay for a attorney and flapped your gums to the judge… I’d PAY to watch that one!
    In the mean time while you were holding up a Police Officer that’s doing his job….protecting dim wits like you……there were probably several CRIMES of REAL statute being violated where he could have been involved in as HE’S PAID TO DO!
    In closing…and before your empty bubble tries to strain a thought out…..give us the STATUTE he is violating…….Mr. Empty Ghost Rider!


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