DUI checkpoint video goes viral, but there’s a twist

DUI checkpointA YouTube video of a man being stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Rutherford County, Tenn., has gone viral, with well over 2 million views. The video is offered with little context, other than brief commentary from the subject pointing out that his constitutional rights were violated.

But does it matter that he planned the entire altercation?

Chris Kalbaugh, a 21-year-old junior at Middle Tennessee State University, is seen in the video being approached by a Rutherford County deputy sheriff as he pulled up on a checkpoint on the Fourth of July. The window in his vehicle was cracked open about two inches, and he was instructed to roll it down, but he refused, saying “this is fine.”

According to the video, the officer appeared taken aback at the refusal and asked Kalbaugh his age. The driver responded by asking if he’s required to provide such information. He gave his age only after the officer told him he must.

At that point, the officer instructed Kalbaugh to pull over to the side of the road.

Again, Kalbaugh refused, responding instead by asking if he was being detained. The officer became more agitated.

“I broke no laws, and I made sure to be respectful the entire time while still exercising my constitutional freedom,” Kalbaugh said, according to the Daily News Journal. “The officers would not let me leave, but would not answer if I was being detained.”

The Journal reported that Kalbaugh is “affiliated with the Libertarian Party,” and that he informed Axl David, communications director for the Libertarian Party of Tennessee, that he planned to “exercise his rights” at the checkpoint and record the results.

The incident was planned, David told the Journal.

David added that this was not the first time Kalbaugh has confronted police on video, saying the college student also records confrontations with the local homeless population for a Facebook page he dubbed, “Don’t Support Murfreesboro Panhandling.”

So it appears that Kalbaugh intentionally refused to comply with the officer so he could videotape the response. Is that relevant in the context of standing up for one’s rights?

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lisa Marchesoni told the Journal that officials are “reviewing the incident” and “looking into the matter to determine if there are any policy or procedure violations.”

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About Tom Tillison

Tom is a grassroots activist who distinguished himself as one of the top conservative bloggers in Florida before joining BizPac Review. He can be reached at tom@bizpacreview.com

  • bobh

    All that matters is that cops should know the laws and actually follow them. They are not entitled to make stuff up as they go. The end does not always justify the means.

    • Rick Morrow

      Bob your right on !!!!! I am a former cop.. and this cop was out of line regardless of what this kid did.. What this kid did was to point out what we the people (and some of us former cops) know what is going on with these oathbreaking cops out there !!! Oathkeepers.org

  • Pkorman

    No it doesn't matter that the "confrontation" was planned. The police officer and his colleagues are operation outside of the law and were caught violating a citizen's civil rights. And this when the citizen, albeit annoying, was not a suspect.

  • Susan

    This is most likely happening all across America and because the "powers that be" don't

    teach history and civil rights in the schools by design anymore, the population does not

    know their rights and continually gives them up. A dumbed down citizenry is easier to

    control.

  • Jeff

    I fail to see how the fact that Kalbaugh planned to record this event and planned on the sadly predictable results relieves the LEO's involved from their sworn duty to respect the constitutional rights of every citizen they encounter.

    That's like saying LEO's shouldn't use undercover stings to arrests individuals involved in vice crimes because law enforcement planned them?

    The sheriffs deputy was not entrapped. He saw bait, and went straight for it and escalated the conflict every chance he got. He doesn't deserve the badge he wears.

    • Rick Morrow

      As a former leo ^5 Jeff well put… in fact when I viewed this video I wanted that officers job ! I could use one. I also wanted to put my foot where the sun dont shine as well. I am almost embarrased when I see my fellow leo's treating people that they are sworn to protect like this !!!!!

  • Dmitry Levin

    The young man got lucky on two accounts: 1. The cops spot the camera and didn't destroy it, which would render him absolutely defenseless against any of their made up accusations; 2. After that they could risk-free plant a pack of weeds in his car, which would put him behind bars on a snap of the fingers. I hope he learns the lesson and uses HIDDEN camera next time. Kudos to the brave guy!

  • Joe American

    All these comments are spot on! It does not matter that it was planned. The checkpoint was planned as well! All the officers involved should be reprimanded and the ones who put this op together, and those who approved it, should be fired!!! That is NOT what the cops should be doing, they swore an oath to UPHOLD the Constitution and "rape" it!!! Across the nation, these Nazis and little Napoleons must be removed from law enforcement!!!

  • jim terwiliger

    Typical slave propaganda. Enjoy your chains

  • Grant

    I'm a 63-year-old white man, so I'm usually waved right through these things, but I still hate DUI checkpoints. In my opinion, they're nothing more than fishing expeditions. There's no probable cause; I've done nothing wrong, but somehow it's OK for the law to interrupt my trip, demand that I interact with them, and then, should I choose not to, detain me for hours. How these things have been found constitutional has always been beyond me. This kid didn't go far enough. I hope he'll try it again and NOT get out of his car or unlock his doors. Hell, not even roll his window down an inch, or interact with the cop at all! just sit there looking forward with both hands in sight on the steering wheel. Let's see what Mr. Loudmouth Bully does then. This jerk cop needs some training in the law. Actually, he needs to be handed his walking papers. Thank you, young man, for helping to wake America up.

  • LHTwist

    Law enforcement agencies use the same tactics when baiting drug dealers and the like in 'sting operations'. To his credit, Kalbaugh didn't resort to any provocation or lies, he merely expected consideration of his Constitutional rights. Even the cops knew they were operating illegally.

  • Doom

    Meh, Rosa Parks was a "civil rights" worker, so her thing wasn't any different. The difference is "civil rights" have, and probably always was, just a form of extortion. This is about real rights, law, and concerns everyone in a real way. Still… I'm not sure it is anything special or the best uses of resources, or even correct. Not my call though, just not my gig.