The Rutherford County sheriff says video from a Tennessee Highway Patrol car proves his deputy did nothing wrong during a DUI checkpoint last week that raised questions online about drivers' rights.
Millions of people have seen the video after it was posted to YouTube and Libertarian websites. It was shot on Rutherford Boulevard as deputies conducted a July 4 checkpoint and shows Deputy A.J. Ross speaking with MTSU student Chris Kalbaugh who came through the checkpoint.
In the viral video,Kalbaugh is seen being asked by Ross to roll his window down. Kalbaugh then questions why he needs to
comply, implying his window was down far enough already.
Officer: "How ya doing tonight? Roll your window down for me." Driver: "This is fine, sir." Officer: "Do what?" Driver: "This is fine."
"The officer was operating in the scope of the law," said Sheriff Robert Arnold.
Ross then tells Kalbaugh to pull over from the main flow of the checkpoint traffic.
Driver: "Am I being detained?" Officer: "Pull over to the side, right there." Driver: "Am I being detained?" Officer: "Pull over to the side."
Arnold says the THP video gives the full perspective of what happened that night from start to finish.
"We've found there has been no constitutional rights violation as the video alleges," Arnold said.
The sheriff calls Kalbaugh's video a set-up. The traffic stop was 26 minutes long, but you won't know that from the video the student posted online.
"It's his biased view. He takes six minutes of a traffic stop and edits it down, instead of putting the full version out for the world to see," Arnold said.
During the checkpoint, a drug dog alerts on Kalbaugh's door handle, and Arnold said traces of marijuana were also found inside the car.
But why wasn't the driver arrested on drug charges?
"That was the officers' discretion in the fact he did not charge him for two seeds or what's considered as 'shake,'" Arnold said.
Kalbaugh's video has caused such an uproar, the sheriff and his family are now getting death threats.
"For someone to drag them in and say you want to decapitate my 5-year-old, and my 10-month-old, I have problems with that, and my wife does, too," Arnold said.
Extra patrols have been place on the sheriff's home to protect his family.
The department's internal investigation is complete, and Ross has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The sheriff said if the student still refuses to give an unedited version of his video, he would at least hope he posts it to the Internet, so everyone will get the full story.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
THP releases full video of controversial Rutherford Co. checkpointMore>>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:32:43 GMT
Phoenix city leaders are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst as a new flash flood watch is posted for mid-week.More >
A rainbow over the Superstition Mountains late Monday afternoon sets the stage for some significant changes to come. A flash flood watch is in effect in advance of abundant tropical moisture headed this way. More >