Former West Memphis Police Chief Opens Up As National Exhibit Marks Deaths Of Son & Nephew In 2010

Local News

A new national exhibit marks the deadly shooting of two West Memphis Police officers by sovereign citizens in 2010. One of those officers was the son of former West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert. Local 24’s Tish Clark talked to exclusively to Paudert about the danger of sovereign citizens.

Paudert now lives in the small town of Seymour, Missouri where he’s been the police chief for about a year. Seymour is four hours northwest of Memphis. 

Paudert also travels around the country to speak to government employees, especially law enforcement officers, about how dangerous sovereign citizens are, what they need to watch for, and how they should handle certain situations. 

“I am convinced, Tish, that if Brandon and Bill had their training that we now have, that they would be alive,” says Paudert.

The former West Memphis Police Chief works hard to keep law enforcement officers safe and informed after his son and nephew, both police officers, were killed during a traffic stop on I-40 in West Memphis, Arkansas in 2010.

The suspects, a father and son, were both killed in a shootout with police, and were reportedly sovereign citizens. Paudert believes there is a large number of sovereign citizens in and around the Missouri area where he now lives and is police chief.

“Sovereigns are just anti-government and they say that we in law enforcement are the enemy,” says Paudert.

Paudert says right now, sovereign citizens seem to be laying low, which forces law enforcement officers to be on high alert. “When they’re quiet is when we worry.”

Arkansas Game and Fish officer Michael Neal, who is currently the sheriff in Monroe County Arkansas, rammed his truck into the suspects van that day in 2010, to keep them from escaping. Paudert and Neal often travel the country together to educate and train people about the sovereign citizens movement. 

“After the shooting of Brandon and Bill in West Memphis May 20, 2010, the FBI got on board and started doing training programs. There’s a lot of training about sovereigns and they realize how dangerous they are,” says Paudert.

Paudert plans to travel to the east coast next to speak about the sovereign citizens movement and the shooting deaths of his son and nephew. 

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