LAYFAYETTE, Ind – A police officer in Indiana will keep his job even after he was caught on camera forcefully knocking over a man in a motorized wheelchair who had just rolled over his foot reported FOX59 News in Indianapolis.
The whole thing happened back in October of 2013 outside a school in Lafayette Indiana, but video of the incident was released Wednesday.
Police were called to the school after a man with a gun was reported nearby. When officers arrived they found 25-year-old Nicholas Kincade with only a pocketknife which he said he carried for protection. No gun was ever found.
Still school officials said Kincade, who uses a motorized wheelchair for mobility, was not welcome and police said if he didn’t leave the property he could face trespassing charges.
That’s when officers said Kincade moved his wheelchair forward and ran over Lieutenant Tom Davidson’s foot.
Police Chief Patrick Flannelly told FOX59 Davidson reacted instantly.
“Lieutenant Davidson pushed Kincade and the wheelchair, causing it to tip over and Kincade to fall out and onto the street,” said Flannelly.
Kincade was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.
An internal police investigation concluded that Davidson violated policy and that he should be fired.
Still the city’s Merit Board however decided instead to suspend the Lieutenant for 30-days, demote him and place him on a year’s probation.
“In this case, it was determined by the Command Staff that force applied in this incident was outside our training and policy,” Flannelly said in a statement provided to FOX59. “While it may have been a ‘reflexive’ act on the officer’s part to remove the heavy wheelchair from his foot, it was a use of force that should have never occurred in the first place. The officer should have avoided the path of the wheelchair.”
The department released the dashcam video to FOX 59 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.