UPDATED 2/29/16 @2:04 PM: The trial was postponed last week due to complications on the State’s side. The trials for Lovett and Tye will take place this week starting tomorrow. Lovett will be first with the state accusing him of causing alarm with a deadly weapon. While Tye will start his trial on Wednesday and is accused of interfering with Public Officials.
I will either write another post or update this one when the trials have concluded.
Kenny Lovett and Joseph Tye, of Texas CopBlock, go on trial this week starting with Jury Selection Monday morning (Feb 22nd) and their respective trials to follow (Lovett on Tuesday and Tye on Wednesday). They are charged with Interfering with Public Officials and Lovett has a disorderly conduct charge (for displaying a firearm) as well. These charges stem from an incident on January 24th, 2015 when the duo, amongst others, were out CopBlocking the streets of Arlington, TX. Brett Sanders detailed this arrest back then on his blog stating:
Arlington police have arrested another pair of cop watchers for exercising their first and second amendment rights, simultaneously. In video posted to Facebook, Kenny Lovett can be seen being arrested for openly carrying his pre 1899 pistol (completely legal under Texas law), followed by Joseph Tye, founder of Texas Cop Block, for standing on a sidewalk and not obeying orders to move to another arbitrary location. The video shows an unprecedented attempt by Arlington police officers, Kemp and Deary to intimidate cop watchers by telling them to put any weapons back in the car. Officer Kemp, did not specify openly carried weapons, he instructed all weapons need to be “put up”.
After debating with the videographer, Jacob Cordova, who was arrested one month prior for seemingly exercising his first and second amendment rights, the officers approach another vehicle of cop watchers who arrive on scene to give them a warning that weapons will not be tolerated. Lovett says nothing and simply films the officers, who are completely ignoring their original traffic stop on the complete opposite side of the street, four lanes of traffic and one parking lot away. The officers decided that they would go ahead and break their oaths on video for the rest of us to see, and arrested Lovett for not obeying their unlawful orders.
Shortly thereafter, Joseph Tye who was standing on a public sidewalk, on the opposite side of the street from the original traffic stop, was instructed to move further away. Tye did not obey the unlawful order, and was promptly arrested.
While it seems pretty clear to most of us that neither Lovett nor Tye should have been arrested, let alone threatened with extortion and/or jail time for their actions, that’s exactly what’s happening. Melinda Westmoreland, who’s the district attorney prosecuting the case, has refused to drop the charges and uphold a person’s right to bear arms and film public officials.
As we saw last week with the 240 day sentence handed to Greater Cleveland CopBlock founder, Deo, CopBlockers have come to realize that courts are the last place to find justice. Even still, Lovett seems hopeful stating, “If WE THE PEOPLE, who are the Jury, understand what Liberty is then they should find me innocent.” But juries aren’t picked from a juror of your peers, they are selected from a pool that the state has created. Meaning most people on a jury don’t understand Liberty and are heavily aligned with a statist mentality.
Add that to the fact that good cops aren’t stopping bad cops from putting charges on people like Lovett, Tye or Odelicki. Which is what bothers Tye who states that:
Many officers claim that there are only a few bad apples, yet I will refuse to believe this until the majority of officers come forward in support of those in the police accountability movement that work peacefully toward holding these bad apples accountable. Until these “good” officers publicly support having their actions, and the actions of their colleagues, recorded by third parties then they are only supporting the continued brutality of government agents on citizens. Until these “good” officers speak out against the heinous actions that are all too common in modern law enforcement, such as the kidnapping and caging of persons who only wish to exercise their right to record public servants, they are not good officers, and are a part of the problem.
And that’s what this boils down to. Who were the Arlington police employees protecting back in January 2015 when they arrested Lovett and Tye? They clearly weren’t a danger to anyone else, nor were they violent in any way. Seems Melinda Westmoreland should be reminded of that and encouraged to halt the actions of these rogue police officers who were merely trying to protect themselves from being video recorded.
Let’s show Lovett and Tye the support they deserve. Consider calling Melinda Westmoreland at 817 884-1400, let her know that you’ll be watching the outcome of this trial. That it’s not too late to do the right thing and dismiss the bogus charges against these fine Texas CopBlockers. Also, consider joining the Texas CopBlockers next time they go out in the street. You can find them and other CopBlock groups by visiting the CopBlock.org Groups page.