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Controversial Keller police videos raise question: Should police be able to arrest for fine-only offenses?

FORT WORTH, Texas — As Keller police body cam shows, when Dillon Puente refused to consent to his car being search, Sgt. Blake Shimanek decided he needed to go to jail.

“I’m going to jail? For what?” Puente asked, the body cam shows.

“Just a violation for a wide right turn,” Shimanek told him.

Once Puente was in custody, Shimanek then had the legal right to search his car. Body cam video shows the officer found nothing illegal inside the car.

His father, who was also across the street recording on a cell phone, was pepper sprayed and arrested in an incident sparking national outrage.

Charges against father and son were quickly dropped. Shimanek was demoted the next month after an internal affairs investigation.

But what happened that day raises another question: Should lawmakers strictly limit when police can make arrests for Class C misdemeanor offenses, which are punishable only by a fine?

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