It looks like the Phoenix police officer accused of murdering an unarmed domestic violence suspect -- and his dog -- as well as planting a crack pipe on a mentally ill homeless woman, will not be getting the boot from the department. A judge granted an injunction today that prevents the Phoenix Police Department from firing Officer Richard Chrisman -- for now.
At the time of Chrisman's indictment, Phoenix police Chief Jack Harris said he planned to side-step an internal investigation to determine whether Chrisman should be fired. He said, at the time, he planned to meet with Chrisman personally to allow him a chance to plead his case as to why he should get to keep his job.
Chrisman's attorneys, however, filed an application for a preliminary injunction that would prevent the department from canning Chrisman.
This afternoon, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge granted that injunction, which prevents the City of Phoenix from firing Chrisman -- at least before knowing the outcome of his murder case.
Judge Donald Daughton handed down the ruling.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, the judge gives a list of reasons for granting the injunction, including "a strong likelihood of success [in his murder case] on the merits," and "the balance of hardships weighs in favor of of the requesting party."
The Associated Press gives a little more detail, and is reporting that "Chrisman's attorneys argued he would be forced to waive his Fifth Amendment rights to defend himself if called before Harris and that the police department's ruling that he violated policy was based solely on a probable cause statement for his arrest."
Calls to Chrisman's attorney, Kathryn Baillie, were not immediately returned this afternoon.
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