FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth police officer caught on camera pepper spraying a group of bikers has been removed from the field and placed on desk duty pending an investigation.
Video recorded by one of the bikers shows a FWPD officer had a driver in a Dodge Ram truck pulled over on the side of Interstate 20 on Sunday. A group of motorcyclists pass by as the officer gets out of his vehicle, and that's when he pulls out his pepper spray and aims the spray at the bikers.
Chase Stone, the biker who posted the video on Facebook, called it “beyond dangerous.”
“Law enforcement is here to protect and serve, not intentionally try to harm others,” he wrote in the caption.
The Fort Worth Police Department said an Officer Figueroa is under investigation for the incident. Figueroa is a six-year veteran of FWPD. The department said the incident was captured on dashcam and body camera.
"The Fort Worth Police Department takes any complaint of officer misconduct very seriously and this incident will be investigated thoroughly," police said in a statement.
Brittany Botello and her truck passengers were hit by the pepper spray blow back, but they were not the target of the spray.
"He sprays them first and then sprays everybody in the truck and it came into the truck because I was the driver and I’m six months pregnant and I just started… everybody started choking,” said Brittany Botelli.
Terry McKenzie, a passenger in the truck, said they told the officer they were choking, but he said he was just spraying the bikes and didn’t apologize for the spray getting on their group.
“He said he was scared,” McKenzie said of why the officer sprayed the bikers.
Markus Hernandez, another passenger, said the officer told them the bikes were too close to his car for his comfort.
Botello was ticketed for driving without a license. But the group in the truck said the officer didn't have to open up a can of pepper spray on the bikers.
"They could have got blinded and ran into the truck,” McKenzie said. “I mean it could have been bad."