Indianapolis police officer T. Michael Wilson was one of a handful of “Officer of the Year” award recipients for the Indianapolis Police Department this year. But thanks to a hotel surveillance video and a determined local news station, Wilson is in the news for all the wrong reasons right now.
Surveillance video (see below) has surfaced, by way of Photography Is Not A Crime, showing Wilson slamming a man to the ground two times even though the man does not appear to be provoking or resisting his arrest in any way. To make matters worse, Wilson seems to have lied about his actions on the police report for the incident.
The man being thrown to the ground and arrested is Maryland resident Brian Hudkins. Hudkins was in Indianapolis with an employee of his, Andrew Davis, on business. The two men were staying at the JW Marriot hotel. On the night of the incident, the men went up to their hotel room and found that their key didn’t open the door. They heard people inside of their room as well. Confused, the men went down to talk with hotel staff about the problem. When the problem, which we now know was caused by overbooking, wasn’t resolved, Hudkins called police to help remedy the situation.
That’s when Officer Wilson arrived to the hotel. On the video, Hudkins and Wilson are seen talking for several minutes. Hudkins has his hands behind his back the entire time and doesn’t appear to be acting in a threatening way. But suddenly, Wilson grabs Hudkins, drops him to the ground, and places him under arrest. On video, Hudkins does not appear to resist the arrest. Once outside, video shows Wilson again slamming Hudkins to the ground, even though, just like the first tackle, Hudkins does not look to be provoking the excessive force at all. Both Hudkins and Davis were arrested.
After the incident, Wilson filed a police report. On the report, Wilson states that he asked Hudkins to lower his voice. He wrote that Hudkins said “he did not have to, while sticking his finger in my face.” But on the video, it is clear that Hudkin’s hands are behind his back.
Indianapolis news station WISH has picked up the story and is pressing the police department for answers. The station spoke with Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite, who said a review of the surveillance video is an underway.
“We’ll have to get to the bottom of why [the force] was used, under what condition it was used, was there a verbal exchange,” Hite said. “I want to hear all of that. But I certainly can’t be judged by or ask us to be judged by what we merely see.”
Hite acknowledged that WISH, which has requested all relevant documents related to the incident, is pursuing information on the case relentlessly.
“Absent of any additional information at this point, you have forced me to now request every piece of paper, every document related to this case for immediate review by internal affairs,” Hite said.
To make a bad night worse, after getting out of jail, Davis was informed by the hotel that all of his belongings had been lost. He has filed a lawsuit over the incident.
Here’s the surveillance video from the hotel: