‘They are not above the law,’ Former Oklahoma police chief faces felony charges in alleged excessive force investigation

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WATONGA, Okla. (KFOR) – A Watonga former police chief is not only out of a job, but he also now faces felony charges following an altercation back in 2019. 

“Whether they’re the chief or somebody patrolling the streets, they are not above the law,” Brook Abeitman with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. “And when they break the law, there are going to be consequences for their actions.”

The Blaine County District Attorney’s Office filed first-degree burglary and assault and battery charges against Shawn Kays.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the charges stem from a 2019 incident at a home in Watonga. 

“Watonga police officers went to that residence in an attempt to make an arrest,” said Abeitman. “And the police chief was there at that time also, and there were allegations of excessive use of force as a result of trying to make that arrest.

Court documents state Kays did not identify himself as a police officer to the woman. It also revealed Kays asked several times if she lived at the residence and that she was a “burglar if she could not prove she lived at the residence.”

According to the affidavit, the woman told Kays that she had some papers, and Kays asked to read them.  

Kays then walked up on the back porch and approached the door as if he was going to come inside the residence, according to court documents. The woman told Kays, “don’t do it,” and “don’t touch me,” as Kays began walking inside the residence. 

As Kays was walking inside the home, he said, “This ain’t your home.”

The woman extended her hand to the chest of Kays to prevent him from coming inside the home, according to the affidavit. 

Kays allegedly forcefully shoved the woman back into the residence with his left hand while holding open the screen door with his right hand, according to court documents. 

He continued to yell to the woman, “This ain’t your [expletive] home.”

Kays then forcefully shoved the woman from the doorway to the outside of the residence, causing the woman to fall to the ground.

He then yelled, “Put this [expletive] in cuffs!”

Kays then forcefully pulled the woman’s right arm behind her back and up toward her head, causing her to yell out in pain. 

OSBI spokesperson told KFOR the woman was transported to the hospital and treated for her injuries because of that incident. 

“As far as our investigation, we were called in purely to investigate the acquisition of use of force,” said Abeitman. “There’s a warrant out for his arrest. We are actively seeking him.”

This is only the beginning of the problems Kays will face. 

“We actually caught him block away from here [Watonga] at a friend’s house and served it to him,” said Undersheriff Danny Aytes with the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. 

In a separate case, the sheriff’s office served a protection order against Kays in June. A different woman requested the order for alleged domestic abuse. 

KFOR attempted to reach the former police chief for comment but so far haven’t heard back.

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