The alleged incident happened back in august and the lawsuit was filed in december that prompted the city to release body and dash cam video. The video show keller police department sergeant blake shimanak, pulling dylan quente over for making a wide right turn during the stop dylan’s father marco point. They pulled up and began using self. His fell self form to record the arrest, while marco was recording his son’s arrest from the sidewalk sergeant, shimak told another officer to arrest him for blocking the roadway puente’s attorney said he was not resisting arrest yet. The second officer and kitten tomer sprayed his eyes with pepper spray twice within hours of the incident. Keller’S police, department’s command staff reviewed the case and the charge of interference against marco puente was dropped and dylan puente was reimbursed for the traffic violation. Keller’S mayor said marco said he filed a lawsuit because he doesn’t want other citizens being treated like he, and his son were marco’s attorneys. Scott palmer and james roberts say the settlement sends a message. Police, mixed conduct and abuse of power is coming to an end. Robert said, people will no longer accept it it’s an expensive lesson. At the end of the day, palmer said police officers, they cost their cities. Money is a reminder that you’ve got to behave better in a statement. The city of keller said it is pleased that a mediated settlement agreement has been achieved, although the final documents still need to be signed by everyone involved.
The settlement does not require a city to take any further action against the officers. Chief fortune seems like a decent guy like going he’s going to do the right thing he apologized soon after it happened and apologized in a city hall meeting, the police chief will be sharing with the city council police changes that are a result of the incident. The city is also pointing out that its insurance company is paying all a 5 000 deductible for the settlement. That means 195 000 is coming from the insurance company that provides insurance for keller, texas city of keller government about two weeks ago. Thank you to the many residents who’ve participated in the keller police, department’s community town hall meetings over the past two weeks. If you miss those discussions, you can catch up through the recordings linked below police chief brad fortune will be sharing information with city council on policy changes and initiatives stemming from these discussions. In the department evaluations of the august 15th incident sergeant, blake shimanek, who pulled over dylan puente for making a wide right turn in the first place, was initially demoted to patrolmen, but he has since retired as of february. First, that was his last day. It was shimanek who not only pulled over dylan fuente for the wide right turn, but also ordered officer tomer to pepper spray uh, the father marco puente e, the video that everybody’s seen centered around his body, camera footage officer. Tomer had no repercussions as it was found that he was just following orders through the internal investigation chief fortune had a series of town hall meetings, so the people of keller and surrounding neighborhoods could get their feelings off their chests.
Here is what some of the people said at those town hall meetings. I think it speaks volumes for the fact that the father marco puente’s chargers were dropped so quickly that dylan puente was reimbursed for uh his ticket and the fact that this happened in august of 2020 and we already have a 200 000 settlement in uh late january. That’S, unbelievable for something to happen in august and they’d be settling for two hundred thousand dollars lets. You know that keller, the keller police department, knew they were wrong 100 and they were trying to get this in the rearview mirror as fast as they possibly could that they weren’t even going to try and defend the actions of those officers. So i believe that’s commendable, because everybody knows how long red tape can take and settlements do not usually happen. In months they have been years, let’s hear what chief fortune has to say: killer but i’m, not new to a police profession and this isn’t. My first internal affairs investigation or response to resistance. I was a homeland security lieutenant in that position. One of my responsibilities was the public private partnership in building and developing a relationship with the community public servant role of serving you and doing this with you not against you. There are certain things that i cannot discuss because the federal lawsuit, so if it has to do with a specific incident or the disciplinary decision at this time we can’t talk about it.
Now i will tell you that, as i said in my statement august 15th, what happened? It probably angered every single one of you in here, and i can assure you that that monday, when we came in to work that day, it angered us as well there’s. No one in this room, i think that are going to look at each other and say that what happened uh was acceptable, um and it’s, something that that represents the keller police department of the city of keller, because it does not. Thank you one of my questions. I had was, i believe it was officer tomer. Is that how his name is you were talking about, empowerment was officer, tulmer, empowered to realize that offer shimanek officer shimanek was not giving what would be considered good instruction to him and again i realize you can’t talk about specifics, but this is more of the empowerment Question when he arrived after officer, shimanek instructed him to watch him, meaning watch marco puente and marco puente made. The comment. Watch me what stand here. He was well within his rights. Like you pointed out, and then the next response was obviously the agitated officer shimnick and then it was to arrest him would officer tomer been empowered at that time to realize that the instruction he was getting was not appropriate and be able to de escalate. That situation, is he empowered to do that, or would he be running into some police politics in the sense that that’s my sergeant, he gave me an order.
I better follow it or i’m going to be reprimanded later on. What is the empowerment uh there in my next question or a comment, and you can instruct me if i was incorrect? It seemed like last week when you got up, and i think you mentioned a sterile statement that you made or something like that. You mentioned that officer: shimanek was placed on a non uniformed, not in the public duty for his protection i’m just going to say, i think a better statement would have been both for the public safety and his safety. I just think that would have been a little bit more right, not that i’m, assuming that he’s going to go out and do something wrong. But i just think that would have been a better statement. It seems a little one sided just to say for his safety and again that’s, just maybe that’s splitting hairs, but that was just mainly the big question is officer tomer. Would he have been? Would he have faced some discipline if he was if he had empowered himself in general, any officer they show up on scene? Things have happened before their arrival. If another officer tells them x, good faith doctrine, you’re trusting that officer that that is a lawful order within their authority, you don’t sometimes have time um, especially if it’s, to make an arrest to start saying. Okay, you need to give me all your probable cause. You need to tell me all these things you’re supposed to have good faith in your officer that what you’re being given is a lawful order.
So now, if an officer any officer is on scene during the entire incident and they see everything that’s going on and then an officer says go, do something well they’ve been there the whole time if they know that that’s wrong. We have a policy now duty to intervene, then now it’s their responsibility to stop and and have that discussion, just like you’re saying so there there’s a little bit of a difference there. Okay, tell me remind me again, the second one, the second part, oh my statement. Okay, so i i did say for the safety of officer shamanic, because he and his family have been getting death threats. Um. I understand – and i agree with you um but they’ve been getting death threats. The extended family’s been getting death threats, extended families had people try to take their jobs from them. It goes on and on and on so that was legit more kind of tailed on to that gentleman’s question um, regarding whenever someone pulls up on scene and you’re, told if they’re given an order and then in the same breath the order changes. For example, um go watch him versus go arrest him at that point. Does. Is it kind of like a personal decision to be like well, hey, which one like, or what are we are? Is that not we just kind of go with whichever one they want at the time when an officer gets on scene and the officer who has been on scene makes their decision whether it’s watch them whether it’s arrest them again? It goes back to the good faith doctrine.
The officer who just arrived on scene has no context for anything they just get there. They don’t know any kind of a follow up. Question. Are police officers allowed to turn off their body, cams uh? So, no so if they’re in the middle of an incident, no there there’s disciplinary action for that what’s that disciplinary action well, it depends it could range from documented counseling written reprimand suspension. It depends on what happened like sometimes there’s there’s reasons why it would go off. Technologically, if they purposely turn it off it’s going to be much more severe discipline, why are they allowed to do that in the first place to turn off the body cam in the first place? Well, so, if they’re done with a call and they’re finished with their business, they turn it off. Otherwise they go the bathroom. They have personal reasons. They have privacy in their cars. That have been said so far. I think it’s important to um keep our focus on. Why we’re here, i believe that this town hall is here for feedback from the citizens in response to a specific incident that occurred in our community and you guys are asking for feedback from the citizenry on how to get better. And so, while we’re all here and and we support the keller police department, i think um – i don’t know that we’re utilizing the platform appropriately. If, if, if our goal is to simply applaud how well the police department is, is doing so, my question is uh.
I have a couple i said. First, can you talk about what the feedback has been that you’ve received you, you mentioned that you’ve gotten lots of feedback locally, but also nationally and worldwide. Potentially, can you talk about um? What the what the most prevalent request or demand has been um from you or from the keller. The police police department from i don’t know, if there’s a single thing, that’s that’s, jumping out there. The the predominant theme is that uh, it was bad and we all agree. It was a bad uh decision and it was.