The Keller Police Department plans to host two town hall events to gather resident input after controversy erupted following the improper arrest and pepper spraying of Marco Puente in August 2020.
“As your chief of police, I am sincerely sorry that this occurred on my watch,” said Keller Chief of Police Brad Fortune during a Tuesday City Council meeting.
Both Fortune and Mayor Armin Mizani apologized during the city council meeting, with Fortune also promising to review policies and procedures.
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But residents expressed concern more wasn’t being done to punish the officers involved. According to Fortune, the sergeant in charge has been demoted two ranks and temporarily removed from patrol but will not be fired. The officer seen pepper-spraying Puente will face no punishment after the department determined he was only following orders.
“If you are told to do wrong, that doesn’t mean you have to do wrong,” said Marco Puente.
Puente said he believes considerable work needs to be done to rebuild trust with the community and urged other residents to be vocal about their concerns.
“The first step has been done, the apology by the chief and these promises, that’s step one – step two is action,” said Puente.