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An Indiana State Trooper wrote in a probable cause affidavit that he drew and pointed a Taser at Clarksville Police Det. Bryan Coburn “in fear” for his safety during a traffic stop early on the morning of Sept. 25.

According to the trooper’s statements in the affidavit, which were reported by the News and Tribune earlier this week, Coburn was upset that the vehicle driven by his wife had been stopped. His wife was later charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and Coburn faces a misdemeanor count of resisting law enforcement.

If the affidavit is true, the glaring question is, how is Coburn not facing a felony?

The trooper states in the report that Coburn’s wife refused a portable breath test. While attempting to place her into custody, Coburn exited his vehicle on two different occasions, according to the affidavit.

On his second attempt to interfere with the traffic stop, Coburn again disobeyed “loud verbal commands” and grabbed the trooper’s left arm with both hands, according to the affidavit.

After the trooper drew the Taser, Coburn warned him, in summary, to not mess with him, according to the affidavit. Mess wasn’t the word used, but rather another word of the four-letter variety.

Those accused of crimes should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But based on the affidavit, Coburn interfered with the trooper’s arrest of his wife, threatened the trooper and placed his hands on the trooper while he was arresting the woman.

How many ordinary citizens could do the same and only be charged with a misdemeanor? If a man who wasn’t a cop grabbed a trooper’s arm (after telling the trooper he had a gun, according to the affidavit) while the trooper was attempting to place the man’s wife in custody, what would have been the outcome?

In the affidavit, the suggested offenses committed by Coburn include battery on a police officer and obstruction of justice. But Coburn is facing neither of those charges.

Situations like these are why many people believe our criminal justice system is broken. But it’s not just an issue of policing. Prosecutors shouldn’t give special treatment to cops who break the law.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull has stepped back from this case, with Harrison County Prosecutor Joshua Otto Schalk taking the lead. They must be wary of a precedent that could be set. If grabbing a trooper’s arm and threatening him is only a misdemeanor, that’s a scary proposition for any law enforcement officer.

Laws must be enforced equally, or the system and those who are paid to manage it must change.

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