Don’t Search Me, Bro!

Now everyone knows I love a good abuse-of-power-by-the-police story.  Well, here’s a good one for you.  So, there’s this kid, well a 21 year-old young man, who pulls up to a DUI checkpoint on Independence Day in Rutherford County, Tennessee, where he is subsequently harassed by local police.Go here to watch the video the kid made with his cell phone of the whole incident.

Now, let me play devil’s advocate for a moment.  If I were a cop conducting DUI checkpoint duty and had some little turd giving me a hard time after I’ve been dealing with drunks all evening, I’d be ready to knock the crap out of him, too.

HOWEVER!

It is a part of a police officer’s job to keep a level head and handle each situation with care.  It’s also his job to NOT violate people’s constitutional rights.

THE STORY

Chris Kalbaugh, has his window cracked as Deputy  A.J. Ross walks over asking the man to roll it down further. Kalbaugh says he thinks the level he has it rolled down is “fine” because he is able to hear the officer adequately.

The cop asks Chris his age.  Chris politely asked how that was relevant and then reluctantly told him he was 21.  Mr. Po-Po didn’t like this and told him to pull over.  When Chris asked if he was being detained, the cop told him to pull over or get out of the car.  Seems a bit threatening to me.

“After he keeps using intimidation to get me to do what he wants, all the officers surround my vehicle like I’m a criminal,” Kalbaugh wrote in the video.  He eventually gets out of the car and out of the camera’s view, but you can hear the cops harassing him with questions like, “are you an attorney?”  and “Do you know what the law is?”

Chris responded with yes and, at the officer’s request, he told them the law.  At one point the bring a dog over to search outside the car.  You can clearly see in the video that an officer is commanding to dog to “get a hit” on the car.  That gives the officers the ammo they need to search the vehicle.

While conducting their illegal search of the kid’s car, one officer tells the other that the driver knows his rights. THEY FREAKIN’ KNEW THE BOY WASN’T GUILTY OF ANY CRIMES!!! They just felt it was necessary to intimidate the kid and make him sorry he ever screwed with Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department.

During their illegal search, the police officers notice the cell phone is recording them.  They quickly move to turn the phone so it isn’t recording them any longer.

Kalbaugh wrote that they found no illegal drugs in their search.

“All this because my window was not lowered enough to his preference. I broke no laws whatsoever. On a day that we are supposed to be celebrating freedom and liberty,” the video description stated.

Update from The Blaze

Update: TheBlaze has corrected that neither Axl David nor Kalbaugh have said his confrontation with the police officer was planned. David emailed TheBlaze saying too that Kalbaugh had never called it a “crash the checkpoint party.” TheBlaze had reported based on an article from the Daily News Journal that David had spoken with Kalbaugh about planning the confrontation to “exercise his rights.”

In a press release, Kalbaugh, who is a member of the Rutherford County Libertarian Party, said, ”I broke no laws and I made sure to be respectful the entire time while still exercising my Constitutional freedom.”

“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.”

Kalbaugh also included in the press release that he didn’t intend the video to be disrespectful to law enforcement.

Generally, I like cops.  If you’re a cop, I hope you don’t act like Deputy Ross and his buddies.  They are a shame to the badge.  Remember your place and we’ll remember ours.  Respect doesn’t come with the badge.  You still have to earn it.  Remember when you were young and some jerk cop pulled you over and scared the crap out of you?  Don’t be that cop.

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