Lafayette officer faces federal lawsuit over wheelchair incident

Photo courtesy WLFI

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette man files a federal lawsuit after a police officer pushed him over in a wheelchair.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana on behalf of Nicholas Kincade. Kincade uses a motorized wheelchair after being in an accident. The lawsuit said in 2013 LPD officer Tom Davidson was called to investigate Kincade.

He said Davidson searched his backpack without a warrant. The lawsuit said Kincade was on a public sidewalk trying to get to the bus stop when Davidson pushed him, making him fall out of his wheelchair. He said he was injured and his wheelchair broke because of the fall.

The lawsuit said Kincade was embarrassed and humiliated by what happened. It also said the police department discriminated against Kincade because of his disability.

Kincade’s lawsuit differs from the police report. The police report says Davidson asked Kincade to calmly leave the property.

That’s when Kincade drove his power wheelchair over Davidson’s foot and shin. In the police report Davidson said, “The weight of the chair caused enormous pain to my foot and shin. I knew I had to get the weight off, so I gave a two-handed strike to Kincade’s right shoulder.”

Kincade was then arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer. That case was later dismissed. Davidson has been suspended, demoted and put on probation for a year by the Civil Service Commission.

The city of Lafayette was also named in the lawsuit. City attorneys said they have not been served yet and can not comment on the case.

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