by Max Brantley
I've been trying this week to obtain the investigative affairs file that led to Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas' decision to suspend Lt. David Hudson for beating a customer on a public sidewalk outside a Hillcrest restaurant after he allegedly wouldn't comply with Hudson's order that he go away. Hudson was working private security.
Thomas ordered a one-month suspension, beginning yesterday, for excessive use of force. The charges Hudson filed against Ferneau customer Chris Erwin after Hudson punched him repeatedly in the face were dismissed. This link includes Hudson's account of the incident. This link contains some other files on Hudson's use of force, including the previous beating he reported was necessary to subdue another customer at Ferneau on an earlier occasion.
Though the chief's letter has been released, City Attorney Tom Carpenter said the file on the case couldn't be released until the appeal process had been concluded. Carpenter said Hudson intended to appeal his suspension without pay to the Little Rock Civil Service Commission. The suspension has begun. A reversal by the Civil Service Commission would mean Hudson's time off could eventually be served with pay.