LPD lieutenant demoted, suspended

A Lafayette Police Officer faces a federal lawsuit after pushing a man out of his wheelchair.
A Lafayette Police Officer faces a federal lawsuit after pushing a man out of his wheelchair.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette Police Department lieutenant is demoted and suspended for his actions during an incident last year.

It happened on Oct. 1, 2013. Beyond that, few details are known, including what the initial incident was and what Lt. Tom Davidson did to require a hearing of the Lafayette Police Civil Service Commission.

News 18 was outside last week’s executive session where the commission heard evidence and testimony related to the incident. A number of the department’s command staff were called in to answer questions. The commission met again Wednesday in an executive session before a public meeting to discuss the incident. It was announced in the public meeting that Davidson was facing internal charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and excessive use of force.

The commission voted unanimously that Davidson was in violation of conduct unbecoming an officer. The commission voted 3-2 that he was not in violation of excessive use of force.

The commission then voted on his punishment. He was demoted to officer first class, suspended for 30 days without pay, and was put on probation for a year.

Commission president Rick Hobbs was tight-lipped after the meeting.

“This is the member of the department’s protected speech and protected information because it is an employee relationship, so I’m not able to make any comments about outcome or anything that transpired because it is protected speech,” said Hobbs.

Davidson and his attorney declined to make any comment to News 18.

LPD Chief Pat Flannelly refused to comment on the situation and said the department will issue a statement when the time is right.

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