In only five days, the video above of police possibly violating the constitutional rights of a 21-year old man at a July 4th DUI checkpoint in Rutherford County, Tennessee, has gone viral on YouTube and has been viewed almost 3.2 million times as of tonight.
Here’s the background on the video from a press release from the Libertarian Party of Tennessee:
On July 4th, members of the Rutherford County (TN) Libertarian Party became concerned about DUI checkpoints occurring in Rutherford County. Members were advised to record their interactions, should they find themselves going through a checkpoint during their routine travels. It was made clear that this would be done so in a way that was nonconfrontational and unobtrusive, but still in clear view of law enforcement.
Rutherford County Libertarian Party member Chris Kalbaugh, who is the driver in the video, uploaded the video above to Youtube and expressed his concern that his constitutional rights were violated. Literally overnight, the video became viral, largely due to the internet aggregate site reddit.com.
“I broke no laws and I made sure to be respectful the entire time while still exercising my Constitutional freedom. The officers would not let me leave but they would not answer if I was being detained,” said Kalbaugh, 21, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Kalbaugh continues, “I wanted to show that I was not impaired and to get the confrontation over with. When I got out, he demanded my ID even though I didn’t break any laws or traffic violations. They also said they were going to search my vehicle because the drug dog ‘hit’ on the vehicle. I don’t do any drugs and I have never had any illegal substances in my car. When the officers said that the drug dog hit on my car, I became furious because I knew that was impossible. All of this happened because I did not want to lower my window all the way which was completely legal. Later on when the officer tried to open my door and pull me out of my vehicle, I was glad that my window was only partially open. This video was not made to be disrespectful to law enforcement at all; there are plenty of great cops in Tennessee who do not believe in going outside of the law to take away Constitutional freedom. Having rights is not disrespectful.”
“It’s sad that on a day that is celebrated for freedom and liberty, such a grotesque violation of both has occurred,” said Matthew Novak, Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee. “The Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputy trashing a lawabiding citizen’s constitutional rights on July 4th makes it clear that the very meaning of Independence Day has become lost on the law enforcement community in Rutherford County,” said Jim Tomasik, Chairman of The Libertarian Party of Tennessee.
At the end of the video, Chris Kalbaugh summarizes his experience:
I was yelled at, bossed around, my car ransacked without my consent, and had my rights taken away from me. All while not being detained. I broke no laws. Officer Ross told me that my Constitutional rights did not matter at checkpoints. He said it is OK to take away Constitutional rights and civil liberties for reasons of safety. He didn’t even ask me if I had been drinking. This was a DUI checkpoint. Happy 4th of July, America.
MP: Another example of the “rise of the warrior cop” and the loss of civil liberties we are experiencing partly because of the insane “War on Drugs/Plants/Weeds.”