LPD Chief responds to criticism of dash cam incident

(WLFI Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Lafayette police responded Monday to several comments which were posted on the city’s Facebook page after the dash cam video was released of a Lafayette police lieutenant pushing over a man in a wheelchair last week.

WLFI, 24-Hour News 8’s sister station reported the story last week, it led to Tom Davidson being demoted to the rank of officer.

In an open letter on the city’s Facebook page, Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly repeats the information that was released last week.

One portion is highlighted in bold, where he writes that he and the entire LPD command staff recommended termination after the incident. He goes on to state that the citizens on the Civil Service Commission which had final authority lessened the punishment.

Here’s a complete copy of the open letter:

An Open Letter From Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly

The Lafayette Police Department initiated an internal investigation into the matter of Officer Davidson using force on a subject confined to a wheelchair while he was investigating a threat of a gun being on a school property. The Internal Affairs Divisions found the officer in violation of two policies in regards to use of force and conduct unbecoming.

Upon conclusion of a thorough investigation the Chief of Police, supported by the entire command staff of the Lafayette Police Department, recommended termination of his employment as an officer with this department. A hearing was requested with the Civil Service Commission, a board consisting of five community citizens that provides oversight to the police department, which has the final authority on disciplinary measures that rise to the level of termination.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Merit Commission disciplinary action was removal of all rank from Lt. to Patrol Officer 1st Class, suspension without pay for 30 days, and probation for a period of one year.

The actions of Officer Davidson during this event have brought discredit upon our agency, however, it does not reflect the true character of all of the dedicated men and women who serve our community with honor, dignity, and compassion every day they come to work. We understand why our fellow citizens would be upset with what they have seen on the video. It is not acceptable behavior and was not tolerated by our police department or the Mayor of Lafayette, which is why we took a strong stance and recommended termination of his employment.

Thank you,

Patrick Flannelly, Chief

Lafayette Police Department

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