America the Messy Yard Police State
"selective enforcement" is not a legal defenseThe the cops say "selective enforcement" is not a legal defense - The sheriff's office has argued that selective enforcement is not a legal defense.
After a year of turmoil, Lovejoy goes on trial Friday in K9 death
by Megan Boehnke - Aug. 12, 2008 01:24 PM
The Arizona Republic
After a year of public outrage and debate with the sheriff's office, the Chandler sergeant whose police dog died when he forgot it in his patrol SUV for 13 hours will head to trial Friday in San Tan Justice Court.
Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, who at the time of Bandit's death last August was in charge of the K9 unit, has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges, a misdemeanor.
The case has been debated in the court of public opinion over whether charges against the officer should be pursued. That then turned into a struggle with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, where Lovejoy's attorneys have accused Sheriff Joe Arpaio of selective enforcement. Attorney Robert Kavanagh filed a motion to dismiss the case in June based on depositions with Arpaio and his detective, Rob Simonson, who handled Lovejoy's case. The motion argued that because an investigation into a case where an MCSO dog died in the shade in its handler's back yard was never pursued, the sheriff's office unfairly pursued Lovejoy.
The sheriff's office has denied those claims and argued that even so, selective enforcement is not a legal defense.
Lovejoy's 5-year-old Belgian Malinois died Aug. 11, 2007, when the officer, who according to reports had gotten only six hours of sleep in two days, left the sleeping dog in the back of his vehicle at 9 a.m. Lovejoy dealt with family matters throughout the day including an auto accident involving his stepson and his wife's anxiety attack before he found the dog dead in the car at 10 p.m. that night.
The trial is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday at the courthouse that sits across the street from the Chandler Police Department.