TN sheriff releases dashcam video of DUI checkpoint that went viral

11:33 PM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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Rutherford County Sheriff's Deputy A.J. Ross speaks with Middle Tennessee State University student Chris Kalbaugh in a screen grab from Kalbaugh's video.

By Becca Andrews / Gannett Tennessee

MURFREESBORO - After a six-day silence, Sheriff Robert Arnold said he fully supports Deputy A.J. Ross' actions in the DUI checkpoint video posted by the Libertarian party.

The video, filmed by Chris Kalbaugh as he was stopped at a Tennessee highway Patrol DUI checkpoint, showed Ross in a confrontation with Kalbaugh.

The video, Arnold said today, left out Ross' discovery of marijuana shakings in Kalbaugh's door handle and two marijuana seeds in his backseat.

MORE: Watch the video on YouTube

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Department has released a full dash-cam video of the incident.

"So far we have found that A.J. [Ross] has done no wrongdoing," Arnold said.

Arnold said Ross' response to Kalbaugh was completely appropriate and in accordance with the force continuum, the system officers use to gauge the best reaction escalation to a situation.

Arnold said Kalbaugh has told them he would not file any complaint against Ross and denied the RCSO's request for his full video.

At a checkpoint, officers need to be able to smell the driver's breath, see pupils, and hear slurred speech, the sheriff said.

He described Kalbaugh's video as "one-sided" and said it is damaging to the fragile public trust.

"I still encourage [Kalbaugh] to put out the unedited version," Arnold said. "According to Deputy Ross, when he found the camera, he picked it up and he points it right there and says, "This is why the dog alerted on your car, these are marijuana grainlets."

Years ago, Arnold said, he was active in the local Libertarian party and said he finds the backlash "ironic."

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