LAFAYETTE, IN — An officer has been allowed to keep his job and face no legal consequences after accosting a paralyzed and dumping him out of his wheelchair into the street.
The incident occurred on October 1, 2013. Some Lafayette police officers had just finished issuing a warning to 25-year-old Nicholas Kincade, who requires a motorized scooter for mobility.
Kincade had been dismissed, and began slowly rolling down the sidewalk. His wheel inadvertently grazed Lt. Tom Davidson’s foot.
Davidson’s fury erupted in an instant. With both hands he plowed into the paralyzed man, sending him sprawling helplessly onto the pavement.
“You did not drive over me, f*****!!” Davidson barked. “Now you’re going to jail. Now you’re going to jail.”
Officers swarmed the man as he lie awkwardly in the street. Mr. Kincade attempted to explain it was all an accident.
The incident was captured on dash-cam video, which has finally been released after 9 months.
Unlike so many hot-headed, abusive officers, Tom Davidson did not receive the backing of his superiors. Police Chief Patrick Flannelly and six members of the command staff unanimously agreed that Davidson used excessive force and conduct unbecoming a police officer — and should be fired. However, the department was unable to terminate Davidson when a civilian review board blocked the decision and opted to keep him on staff following a 30-day suspension and a demotion.
The assault, which was clearly depicted on video, was also not pursued criminally. Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer declined to press charges against Davidson.
As a result, Officer Tom Davidson will remain on Lafayette’s streets, entrusted with the power to uphold the laws that even his own team believes he broke. Such hotheadedness presents a financial liability for the city and a safety risk for those rolling around town.