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Abilene police officer wants to be reinstated after being indefinitely suspended

An Abilene police officer who was indefinitely suspended without pay is fighting to get back into uniform.

An arbitration hearing was held Tuesday at Abilene City Hall for suspended police officer Patrick Sumrall.

Sumrall claims he was unfairly suspended in February.

In the basement of city hall, an independent arbitrator, the Assistant City Attorney and Sumrall's attorney gathered for the arbitration hearing.

Sumrall is an eight-year veteran of the Abilene Police Department.

Prior to joining APD, Sumrall was with the Taylor County Sheriff's Office for three and a half years.

According to Sumrall, he has been suspended three times from the Abilene Police Department: in 2016 for lack of proactivity, in 2017 for use of force and again in 2017 for lack of proactivity.

Most of the arbitration hearing on Tuesday focused on the allegation made against Sumrall for use of force in 2017.

Video captured on Sumrall's body camera showed him taking a man with alleged mental health issues into custody in a violent manner.

According to testimony on Tuesday, Sumrall violated the department's use of force policy by taking the man into custody when there was no legal authority to do so.

The City of Abilene maintains that Sumrall also used the carotid artery technique, which his superiors said was an unnecessary procedure.

The arbitration hearing will continue through at least Wednesday, according to the arbitrator, E. Dwayne Hicks.

Hicks said he will make a decision in 30 to 60 days.

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