Sheriff Speaks Out About Viral YouTube Video - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Sheriff Speaks Out About Viral YouTube Video

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by Nick Beres

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. - Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold spoke out Wednesday about a controversial YouTube video. Sheriff Arnold said his deputy did nothing wrong.

"No, he did not trash his constitutional rights," said Arnold in his first interview since video of a DUI checkpoint went viral.

The video was made by a member of the Rutherford County Libertarian party and accuses the deputy of violating his rights. The driver broke no laws, but was detained against his will for questioning at a DUI checkpoint.

Sheriff Arnold said the deputy just did his job. He said the deputy became suspicious when the driver did not fully roll down his window. It was reason enough to believe he might be hiding something.

"That's probable cause to ask the gentleman to pull over to the side of the road," said Arnold.

Deputies also removed the driver to search the car. The driver questions whether the drug dog really hit on anything to merit a search. Arnold said the dog hit three times in the same spot.

"That's what gives them the probable cause to enter the vehicle," said Arnold.

Deputies found no drugs and the driver was allowed to leave.

"We've had phone calls from all over the world," said Arnold. 

YouTube views of the video are nearing 4 million. Many of the viewers have flooded the sheriff's department with angry calls. The sheriff said he's dealing with death threats.

"I've personally had phone calls at my house threatening to decapitate my children," said Arnold. 

But he stands by his deputy who remains on the job. Arnold said he is still reviewing the incident, but does not see any wrong doing.

Arnold said the YouTube video only runs about six minutes of a 20 minute stop and he'd like to see the rest.  

The driver has declined to provide it.

"They had reasonable suspicion to pull the car over to talk to the gentleman," said Arnold.

And the sheriff said they'll do it again. He said the checkpoints are here to stay.

"It's a privilege to drive and DUI checkpoints are done to be sure our roads are safe," said Arnold.

The driver has not filed a complaint against the sheriff's department, and he was not charged with any crime.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the right for law enforcement to conduct sobriety checkpoints.


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