‘He’s Perfectly Innocent And He Knows His Rights’: A Fourth Of July Police Video


There are a lot viral videos of test-case encounters with police — the kind in which a law-abiding person, tired of the way in which police usurp the Bill of Rights, decides to open carry a firearm or to refuse to give consent to a vehicle search. But this video, recorded July 4 by a 21-year-old Tennessee student stopping at a DUI checkpoint, is one of the most illustrative.

That’s because the driver, Chris Kalbaugh, kept his demeanor robotically neutral, even as the officer attempted to escalate the situation. By doing so, he allowed the officer’s behavior — and judgment — to speak for itself.


The payoff comes at 5:10, when another officer says simply, “He’s perfectly innocent and he knows his rights. He knows what the Constitution says.” Clearly, the police at this checkpoint know what the Constitution says, too, and are accustomed to relying on the ignorance of the vast majority of the people whom they stop. They never check Kalbaugh for DUI (even though this was a DUI checkpoint), and they never tell him (so far as the video reveals) whether he’s being detained. The K-9 officer even has to backtrack in qualifying the weak “hit” his drug dog (inevitably) got while sniffing the car — a hit that precipitated a “probable cause” search of the entire vehicle.

If this can happen to a citizen who’s doing no more and no less than exactly what the law allows, imagine what happens to those who — heaven forbid — have unpaid parking tickets or obliviously tote a couple of prescription pills in an unmarked bottle left in the center console by an absentminded spouse?

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Harold Olsen

    One thing I’ve noticed these days, if a cop stops someone and discover they are carrying a gun, they will arrest the individual for carrying a concealed weapon eve if they have a permit. As far as the cops seem to be concerned, even with a permit, we do not have a right to carry a firearm.

    • hippybiker

      Harold, not here in Florida. They try anything like that and it will cost them a minimum of $5,000 and might cost the badge. Also, the State pays the permit holders legal fees. This is codified State law and is vigorously enforced. Therefore we no longer have problems with our LEOs harassing people.

    • Jimmy the Greek

      You must live up north , in texas we don,t need a permit to carry a loaded pistol or long gun in a car as long as it is not on our person ,the pistol that is and int pistol in not ni plane view . we only need a permit if the pistol is on our person .

  • jose

    If a dog attacks me you better believe it I’ll shoot the dog before he bites me

    • Si Vis Pacem ParaBellum

      Just remember jose that they have guns and badges. They will shoot you before you have a chance to even clear your holster. Shooting a police dog is the same as shooting a police officer. Know your rights people. This guy showed that if you keep your cool, don’t let them get in your head, and know your rights as long as your not breaking the law, there’s nothing other than what you saw happen, will happen for now. With the present administration that may not last long. They are trying very sneaky I may add to take our rights now. get up and get active. Yours and my rights are being squandered on a daily basis and before long we won’t have them. Know the law and constitution.

  • Dorian D La Course

    If and when I do DUI check points, I have not ran across anyone throwing up these types of road blocks. This also raises the officers suspicions to other illegal activity. But, the sooner I determine that he has not been drinking I would not have wasted any more time with him. The point of these are for DUI detection only, not to harass the public.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Your last sentence can be questioned. If the checkpoints are for DUIs and you stop people at random and you are not picking up a specific drunk in a particular vehicle , you are harassing the public since the probability of finding a drunk driver is somewhat close to zero.

      Another thing, does the police dog sniff out the smell of alcohol and is that why he is at the DUI checkpoint?

      You kept talking and gave yourself away that DUI checkpoints are not for DUIs.

      • hawkeye

        The Constitution forbids and protects us from being detained in our travel on public roads. This is being violated by lawman every day.

  • Ron

    The only law the driver violated was “contempt of cop.” Some officers can’t stand if someone knows as much or more than they do. The second officer knew what he was doing, and will make a good witness in the law suite.

  • Toy

    I would worry about them ‘planting’ evidence.
    If you have a Cam., make sure it’s hitched up to a back-up ssd that’s hidden away, in case your cam. is damaged!

  • dan

    dogs are not police officers : they can’t be sworn in/take an oath
    dogs are not endowed with inalienable/unalienable rights except those
    extended to gerbils and chickens
    I much prefer the company of dogs to that of
    self -righteous and hypicritical LEO’s, lawyers or politicians

    ….that said,whack the dog on the nose,same as you would a shark
    and save your amo for a more deserving target

    • vicki

      Whacking a police dog is assault and battery of a police officer. Well not really but that is what you will be charged with.

      • dan

        I’m talking about self defense against an attacking predator….
        that you’d prefer not to kill outright,,,but if it comes to it ,
        dog bites are nasty and if i go to court for assault I can plead fear for my life. They’ll charge you with all sorts of foolishness
        but they have to prove it to the jury of your peers.

  • SSMcDonald

    A massive civil suit against named individuals will go a long way to curbing this illegal activity.

    • Justsomeguy151

      Exactly! Sue the INDIVIDUALS, NOT the dept, for house, bank and property. Violation of our rights under the color of law is a very serious crime.

  • jim b

    Perhaps this is the reason for a 20 year career for most cops. It’s not that they lose the perspective of the ‘Protect and Serve’ mentality of law enforcement, but that they are made to abide by nanny state laws that put them out late at night doing DUI checkpoints or having to carry out some other bureaucrats insane lawless initiative. So let’s not rush to judgment for an overworked, underpaid enforcement officer who became a little inpatient with a head strong kid, out to entrap a willing victim. I’m sure, that given another situation where this same cop was put in a position to protect those he serves would do so without hesitation.

    • Trav

      Are you kidding? Overworked? Under paid? These guys dont know what work is. They get to drive around in their cars all day acting like God, terrorizing anybody they feel like when they get bored,especially anybody that has a dispute with a friend of theirs like I did. All I did was threaten to sue a friend of the chief of police of Pulaski Twp.and I had citations sent to me in the mail every 2 months. It became scary checking my mail because I never knew if there would be a citation in it or what I would be accused of this time. And you know what? Nobody gave a damn. Not the police commission, not the DA, nobody. They wouldnt even read my complaints because they were “too long” and would take “too much time to read”. They also refused to look at video evidence I had against their friends. Now you have to consider, I have only given you a taste of what I have been thru,.Maybe that is why a smile comes to my face every time I hear of one being killed….RIP Chris Dorner, the peoples hero.

    • Miley

      Cops make more in over time than most other citizens make. Do NOT feel sorry for these thugs. They are cops because it makes them feel important and gives them the right to be a full time bully.

      • TheOriginalDaveH

        So true. A childhood friend of mine took the test for Sheriff 3 times before he passed. His brother said that after he became Sheriff, he used to brag about beating up drunks and other such bully actions.

  • Walt wenger

    These criminals in police uniforms need to be charged and convicted of the crimes and Constitutional violations that they knowingly committed and imprisoned for life, because they believe that they have the authority to unilaterally suspend the Constitution whenever they want, and so are subversives, terrorists and traitors to our country. They will never adopt our Constitution and its protections and so must be removed from our society forever!

    • TheOriginalDaveH

      It is the nature of Government to resist restraint. They will always push as hard as they can, if we let them, to subjugate us.

  • McHale72

    There’s only one way to get rid of this police state we find ourselves in. We did it in the mid 1700’s. We can do it again.

  • manuel

    Officer Ross is just another turd who wears a uniform and carries a badge and don’t forget that almighty gun at his hip. Thugs and bullies seem to be the wave of today and the future for US cops. There are no more peace officers, just petty criminals in blue.

  • TheSilverRanger

    Wow…this is the America we live in. A thug LEO with a badge and a gun says that Constitutional rights don’t matter in the name of “public safety.” Unbelievable.
    To quote a line from Andrew Ryan, “What is the difference between a man and a slave?” Answer: “A man chooses. A slave obeys.”

  • Eagle525

    Socialistic and Totalitarian government is now part of the democratic party’s agenda and the Homeland Security ruse will be used to make the complete transition. Be carful of what U say and do for U2 will be branded an anti- government activist / terrorist. Sound familiar? It’s right out of the USSR’s play book . How fast we forget or are to ignorant to even know past history.
    Never ever trust any politician, for their mission is to ultimately suppress the governed.

    • TheOriginalDaveH

      It’s not just the Democrats, Eagle. Pull up the Congressional votes on the Patriot Act and the NDAA to get a clue.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Whats new ? back in the late 70s and early 80s when riding my motorcycle we had to zig zag the side streets to keep from being stoped and having photos taken of us and our tatoos .

    • Guest

      This still happens and even worse with the DHS funding. They threaten to confiscate bikes if you don’t let them do it. But, the kryptonite to their bullying powers are cameras. Get one that streams to an online service so they can’t delete the footage.

      • Jimmy the Greek

        I need to check into one of them , now days here in east texas i have not been stoped in the last 8 years only one time for racing lol , now days the yuppies are drawing the heat lol , because they are stupit with all the lights and crap they pull after seeing old biker movies or what ever they do .

  • Eagle525

    The two officers in question need to be FIRED and the Police Chief needs a serious reprimand. Should this not happen, rest assured that the implementation of Gestapo like tactics (specifically un-constitutional behavior) is now part and parcel of current and future government policy.

  • Eagle525

    The person being searched is very fortunate that one of the offices didn’t drop a dope bag in his car. That would have been the end of this persons reputation and the beginning of a “criminal career”; thus is the power of an unbridled police force

    • TheOriginalDaveH

      So true.
      When divorcing my wife, an sleazebag acquaintance suggested that I put a bag of dope in her car and tip the police. Fortunately for my soon to be ex, I am not that kind of person.

  • Guest

    Modern day Red Coats.


    New Jersey Man Speaks Truth to Power, Gets State Trooper Escort Out of Senate…

    Behold the First Amendment in New Jersey:

    How dare this man attempt to be heard?! Who does he think he is?


  • question_er

    “To Serve and Protect” has become, “To Harass and Collect.” There is no more “innocent until proven guilty.” Today’s cops KNOW every person is guilty of something and their game is to find out how many things you’re guilty of.

  • granny

    Why didn’t you just do what he asked you and be polite! In stead of a smart you know what? They have a job to do, and you could have just done what the asked you to do.

    • TheOriginalDaveH

      Sure, Granny.
      If you know anything at all about psychopathic bullies, you would know that giving them an inch gives them the license to take a mile.

  • BHR

    This ist not only the attitude of the police but the whole American government. Obama has influenced that attitude, the government controls the people because they know better.

  • Chris

    I Agree With you Granny!!The police have to put up with a lot of crap outof people nowadays!!!Most people And much of our childern)come from families,that are disfunctional,look how many parents are divorcing now compared to what it was in the fifties &sixties!!!!Just a NOTE:A lot of things have changed since then,and it just isn’t the Police!!!

    • TheOriginalDaveH

      What a foolish response. If they can’t handle their jobs, then they should find another profession. Meanwhile, for them to behave like criminals serves no purpose whatever. They are supposedly here to protect us from criminals, not become criminals themselves.
      Once people come to the realization that Government is just a very large Gang, everything else they do becomes clear. Any pretense to be serving the people is just necessary for them to escape scrutiny from the masses. Once they become powerful enough not to worry about Society’s opinion of them — Watch Out!

  • TheOriginalDaveH

    Here is an even creepier episode of Police bullying that occurred in my home State: