The New Braunfels resident was pulled over by Officer Kaleb Meyer for what the police department said was an “unclean plate” before being forcibly removed from his vehicle by Meyer and charged with “attempting to elude an officer” and “interfering with police official duties.”
The charges were later dropped at the request of the police department, and Meyer’s actions were initially viewed as a training issue. According to City Manager Robert Camareno, Meyer was given additional training on the proper use of force and how to de-escalate situations.
Following the incident, Meyer continued to work for the department before resigning in early fall, Camareno said.
Meyer worked for the department for one year and eight months, Camareno said, adding there was no internal investigation of the situation.
“The actions of Officer Meyer are not acceptable to my office, to the City Council, or to the New Braunfels Police Department,” Camareno said. “Our officers are trained to be respectful, to de-escalate situations, give clear and concise commands, listen to those they interact with and only use force when the situation deems it necessary. The training and our expectations were not met during this traffic stop.”
When asked why the video was released so long after the incident, Camareno said authorities initially sought to respect the victim’s privacy and were trying to reach a settlement with him.
After a settlement could not be reached, Camareno said the department decided to show the video in an effort to be transparent with the community.
An outside firm is currently working with the city to review policies and procedures within the police department to help determine improvements that need to be made, according to city officials.
Camareno said former police Chief Tom Wibert took responsibility for the handling of the situation before retiring Oct. 3.
"We want to make it abundantly clear that the actions of the officer in the video are not acceptable to the City of New Braunfels and not representative of the men and women in the police department of the City of New Braunfels," Mayor Rusty Brockman said.