Citizen’s arrest: Activist pulls over cop for driving an unmarked car


CAN I SEE SOME ID?: A citizen pulls over a cop in an unmarked car and educates him on unlawful traffic stops.

By Brad Matthews |

Gavin Seim, “liberty speaker” and former Republican congressional candidate , pulled over a police officer Oct. 11 in his home state of Washington to draw attention to unlawful traffic stops by police impersonators.

This citizen’s arrest, captured on video, was made because the officer was driving an unmarked car, Seim said.

The officer, when asked, said the car was a patrol car, a violation of Washington law. Police can drive unmarked vehicles for undercover operations, but not for regular patrol work.

During the course of the video, Seim goes through the typical steps an officer would during a routine traffic stop — he asked for the officer’s name, his drivers’ license, and then goes into a lengthy explanation of the law before releasing the officer with a warning.

Seim said he took the extraordinary step because unmarked patrol cars can leave citizens guessing whether they are being pulled over by a law enforcement officer or an impersonator. He said he wants to ensure patrol cars are properly marked as police vehicles so people don’t fall into traps and become victims of crimes.