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Ex-Texas officer indicted after man pepper sprayed by police

May 9, 2021 GMT

KELLER, Texas (AP) — A former North Texas police officer has been indicted for his role in arresting and pepper spraying a man after he filmed his son’s encounter with police.

Ex-Keller Police Sgt. Blake Shimanek is facing a charge of official oppression, a misdemeanor, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail. Court records did not list an attorney for Shimanek.

Bodycam footage shows Marco Puente being pepper-sprayed and arrested on Aug. 15, 2020.

Dillon Puente was pulled over for a traffic violation which his dad was recording on his phone across the street. Footage showed Shimanek ordering Officer Antik Tomer to arrest and pepper spray Puente for filming the arrest.

Shimanek claimed Marco Puente blocked a roadway, but a subsequent investigation found Puente did nothing wrong.

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Keller Police Chief Brad Fortune later said the way Puente and his son were treated “caused great disappointment and regret” in the department.

Shimanek was demoted after an internal investigation. He resigned from the police department in February. Tomer was not disciplined as officials said he was following orders.

Marco Puente sued the city of Keller and later settled his case for $200,000.