Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe they are immune from the laws of the government. They exist in the United States, and internationally. Because they consider themselves to be above the law, they often engage in highly dramatic encounters with police during traffic stops, in courtrooms and even with members of the general public.

The public has access to hundreds of thousands of sovereign citizen encounters on YouTube. For some, these videos have become a source of amusement. Understandably, many feel a sense of schadenfreude at seeing them getting “owned.” But to believe they are harmless or a joke is a mistake.