Keller police chief, city addresses controversial August arrests

The Keller police chief publicly addressed a controversial arrest for the first time during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The city of Keller is being sued after a father and son were arrested.

The recorded arrest was bad enough that a sergeant was demoted for his actions and an excessive force lawsuit filed against the officers, the department and the city.

Keller Police Chief Brad Fortune told residents because of the pending federal lawsuit, he could not go into detail into what happened with the arrest. But he talked about what happened afterward and moving forward.

"I am sincerely sorry this incident occurred on my watch," Chief Fortune said. "It should never have happened."

READ MORE: Keller City Council to discuss lawsuit claiming excessive force by 2 officers

Keller city leaders answered to residents’ outrage over the controversial arrests and treatment of Dillon Puente and his father, Marco, in this August traffic stop.

Marco was recording the traffic stop after his Dilion was pulled over for making a wide turn.

"It’s our obligation to ensure encounters like these never happen again," said Keller Mayor Armin Mizani.

Chief Fortune says immediately after the incident, the on duty watch commander notified their supervisor and the department made arrangements to have Marco released from custody and associated fines and charges dropped.

The chief says he also directly apologized to the Puente family, an internal investigation was launched and the officers were disciplined appropriately and consistent with law enforcement standards.

"Officer Tomer was not disciplined because the facts did not warrant it, however Officer Shimanek was demoted two ranks from sergeant to patrol officer," Chief Fortune said.

The chief went on to say this was an isolated incident, but several residents who spoke during city council say this arrest reflects a pattern within the department.

"I could imagine myself in the shoes of Dillon being pulled over and unnecessarily treated by an officers because I’ve been there before. It’s happened before," said resident John Bucker.

"One year is not enough. He shouldn’t be on our streets," said resident Todd Meager. "I need to have faith my children are not going to experience what I saw on that video and me as a father. I would’ve been across the street and a lot less patient than Mr. Puente."

Residents say they’re going to hold the city council, mayor and police department responsible. They’re calling for more discipline for the officers involved.

"The chief has got to do something here," Meager said. "You have to make sure the chief does something here. And if you don’t, you all will be held accountable for it. The voters will make sure of it."

In addition to Tuesday’s public comment, the police chief says they will host two town halls on this issue later this month on Jan. 11 and 21.