'Cop watcher' convicted for 2015 Arlington incident

A self-described "gun-toting cop watcher" who claimed he was wrongfully arrested in 2015 was convicted and sentenced for what he did during a police traffic stop in Arlington.

Prosecutors convicted Kenneth Lovett of interfering with public duties and disorderly conduct by openly carrying black powder pistol while taking video of Arlington police during a traffic stop.

Lovett's defense attorney argued it was a case of civil liberties being violated --- mainly the 1st and 2nd amendment. This was the first of several of these types of cases to be tried in Tarrant County. 

Arlington police said the traffic stop involved arresting a convicted felon.  Back-up was called in for that arrest and prosecutors said the arrival of armed "cop watchers" in the immediate vicinity called for more officers.  

Prosecutor Melinda Westmoreland told jurors three people were openly carrying that day. Two of the three complied with the officer. The video showed Lovett chose not to comply.

The incident happened prior to Texas' open carry law taking effect. But it was legal to openly carry antique black powder pistols and long guns. However, even a defense expert witness testified he could not tell the difference between a modern handgun and a black powder pistol in a holster.

Lovett was convicted and sentenced to immediately serve 90 days in jail at the same time for both sentences.

Alex Kim, Lovett’s attorney, was upset about the sentence and called it excessive. He plans to appeal.

"I don't understand why a judge would assess a punishment of 90 days for interfering with public duties. This judge is just being too tough on this crime,” Kim said.

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