Layfette Police Lt. Tom Davidson pushed over Nicholas Kincade last year. Kincade is confined to a wheelchair and after being pushed toppled off the curb and into the street.
Davidson said he knocked Kincade over because the wheelchair ran over his foot and shin.
Davidson filed a report after the incident and wrote that he "gave a two handed strike, open handed" strike to Kincade's shoulder, according to the Lafeyette Journal and Courier. Kincade suffered abrasions on his face when he hit the pavement, the paper reported.
Police were on scene to investigate reports that Kincade had a gun, though their search for a firearm proved fruitless.
In Davidson's report, he wrote that he responded to the scene after hearing that Kincade told a nearby school security guard that he had a gun. Davidson and other officers didn't find a gun, though Kincade did have a pocket knife with him. Police then told Kincade to leave the area, which is when the wheelchair rolled over Davidson's foot.
After Kincade fell to the ground, one officer can be heard saying "now you're going to jail," to which Kincade responds, "I didn't see you." The officers ultimately arrested Kincade for battery against a law enforcement officer, but the charge was later dismissed.
Davidson was demoted, suspended, and put on probation for the incident, but ultimately will keep his job.
Lafayette Deputy Chief of Police David H. Payne told BuzzFeed his department did not condone Davidson's actions and recommended he be fired. In a recorded message, Chief Patrick Flannelly also said that Davidson "brought discredit upon our agency."
Though the department recommended Davidson's firing, a civil commision has the final say on officer termination, Payne said. The commission heard the case last month in a trial-like meeting and opted for the lesser punishment of 30 days of suspension, demotion, and a year on probation. Davidson's suspension is now finished and he has been reassigned to an "internal position" that has little contact with the public, Payne said.
Payne said Davidson has been with the department for 19 years and has never had similar problems in the past.
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at email@example.com.
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