KELLER, Texas (KTVT) — Blake Shimanek, one of two Keller police officers involved with the controversial arrest of Marco Puente in August 2020, has resigned.
The City of Keller tweeted: “As part of our commitment to transparency and communication around the Aug. 15 police incident, we offer this latest update: Officer Blake Shimanek has resigned from the Keller Police Department. His last day on duty with our organization was Monday, Feb. 1.”
Marco’s son, Dillon Puente was pulled over for a traffic violation. His father was recording on his phone as police spoke to Dillon. When Marco refused to stop filming, he was pepper sprayed and arrested ‘in retaliation’ for filming. Footage shows Shimanek (previously a sergeant with the department) ordering Officer Antik Tomer arrest and pepper spray Marco Puerte.
Shimanek claimed Marco Puente was blocking a roadway, but a subsequent investigation found Puente did nothing wrong.
Marco Puerte filed a federal lawsuit in December against Shimanek and Tomer. Also, some Keller residents demanded that the police department fire both officers. Some even called for them to face charges.
After announcing Shimanek’s resignation, representatives of the city tweeted: “This Council and our Police Department led by Chief Fortune remain committed to ensuring encounters like these never happen again, and we will continue working tirelessly to provide every member of our community with a sense of safety and security that reflects Keller’s values.”
Keller Mayor Armin Mizani joined the conversation, tweeting via the city page: “While this chapter is coming to a close, the conversations and policy changes that it has inspired will continue to move us forward as a department, a city and a community.”
The charges against Marco Puente were later dropped and he was released from jail.
Following an internal affairs investigation, Shimanek was demoted by two ranks and was taken off patrol too, according to an internal affairs memo.
Officer Tomer was not disciplined since Keller Police Chief Brad Fortune said the facts didn’t warrant any discipline.
The case quickly garnered attention after Marco Puente posted footage of his arrest online. Police later released bodycam footage from the officers that backed up his claims.
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