Felony charge dismissed against Indiana candidate in middle-fing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Felony charge dismissed against Indiana candidate in middle-finger, assault of police officer case

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A charge of felony assault of a police officer by an Indiana congressional candidate was dismissed in Jefferson District Court on Monday.

Russell Brooksbank, 45, of Clarksville, was arrested last month after allegedly assaulting a Kentucky State Police officer and giving him the middle finger.

After a hearing Monday, Judge Anne Haynie ruled there was not enough evidence for the assault 3rd charge to go forward. A charge of “improper signal” for allegedly “using only his middle finger” to change lanes while the officer was behind him will be also be dismissed, according to Ted Shouse, an attorney representing Brooksbank.

An "obstruction/interference with an officer" misdemeanor charge is still pending. The citation does not say what prompted that charge. 

"We think Judge Haynie made exactly the right decision," Shouse said.  "She didn't find any probable cause he was even attempting to harm the officer because he wanted."

Shouse said prosecutors indicated they would be dismissing the charge involving giving the officer the finger. 

"We maintain that he did not give the middle finger," Shouse said. "The officer misunderstood what he saw."

Regardless, according to a Supreme Court ruling, it is legal to give police officers the middle finger. 

Brooksbank is a Libertarian candidate in Indiana's 9th Congressional District. He is running against Democrat Shelli Yoder and Republican Trey Hollingsworth for the seat being vacated by Republican Todd Young.

He was stopped by police on National Turnpike about 10:30 a.m., according to a Kentucky State Police citation.

Brooksbank refused to give the offer his driver’s license, insurance or registration, according to the citation. After requesting the information three more times – while Brooksbank allegedly tried to record the interaction on his phone – the officer reached for the phone “given the unsafe location” of the stop.

According to the citation, Brooksbank then grabbed the officer’s arm and “started to pull officer into vehicle through driver side windows."

The officer pulled back, ripping Brooksbank's shirt before he was able to open the door and place him under arrest.

He is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 24. The election is on Nov. 7. 

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