VIDEO: Officer Charged For Punching Student In Viral Video

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Robert Lawson is facing charges for an altercation with a student.

Indianapolis, IN – An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer has been suspended pending termination after he was charged for an altercation with a Shortridge High School student (video below).

The confrontation occurred on Aug. 29 after officers responded to the school for a report of a “large fight,” according to The Grio.

One of the mothers involved in the confrontation and a bystander across the street filmed cell phone video of the incident.

The videos showed people screaming at police officers standing at the top of the steps outside Shortridge High School.

In the video, a woman screamed at the officers who slowly approached her and some teenage boys in what looked like an effort to clear the area.

A boy in a red shirt stopped on the stairs and squared up to an officer, telling him he’d “better chill out bro.”

Then all of a sudden the officer punched the boy in the face with a closed fist, the video showed.

Another adult woman helped the boy to his feet and started screaming at the officer.

A female officer entered the frame and began shooing the students and their parents down the steps as the video ended.

Video of the confrontation was posted to social media and quickly went viral.

IMPD Police Chief Bryan Roach quickly condemned the officer’s actions and announced that IMPD Officer Robert Lawson had been suspended without pay, according to The Grio.

“The incident has been turned over to investigators, who understand this case is a priority and have been advised to be as timely as possible,” Chief Roach said in a written statement. “The facts brought forward through the ongoing investigations in both the criminal and administrative processes will then be used to determine any final decisions.”

On Monday, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced that Officer Lawson had been charged with battery for allegedly striking the student “without a legitimate concern for self-defense,” WRTV reported.

Officer Lawson was also charged with obstruction of justice, perjury, false informing, and official misconduct in connection with "alleged false statements" that he made in the initial police report.

"Officer Lawson is accused of making false statements under oath or affirmation in a probable cause affidavit submitted in support of arrest of the 17-year-old,” according to the press release issued by the prosecutor's office. “The juvenile was not taken into custody, and no delinquency action has been filed against him in this matter."

"In the official documents allegedly prepared and signed by Officer Lawson on August 29, it states that he threw an open hand palm strike in fear that the 17-year-old was about to strike the him,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Officer Lawson allegedly reports that the palm strike was successful, and officers were able to cuff the 17-year-old without any further force. These statements are believed to be false and contrary to video evidence which appears to show Officer Lawson striking the juvenile with a closed fist and continuing to use force including a knee strike to the juvenile’s abdomen or chest area."

Prosecutors also said that Officer Lawson had claimed another officer there had said she saw the teen swing at him a “split second” before he used an open palm strike on the boy, but that officer disputed his assertion and said she hadn’t seen the boy doing anything, WRTV reported.

“After the filing of formal criminal charges by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Officer Robert Lawson has been placed on suspension without pay, with a recommendation of termination to the civilian oversight Merit Board,” Chief Roach said in a statement after the prosecutor’s office announced the charges.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below:

Comments (93)
No. 1-23
flybynight
flybynight

Illegal chokehold. Ambush or something like that.

cops-kid
cops-kid

Lesson learned... go home, have a nice day

TWalters
TWalters

Looks more like a grab then a punch, but these days you can’t touch anyone.

Lesstalkmoreaction
Lesstalkmoreaction

Cause and effect. Little boys need to learn their place with adults and authority figures. Looks like that should have happened a long time before this.

beyondpissedoff
beyondpissedoff

What the camera missed was the mama telling her straight A, church going, basketball star, rising rapper son, "mama needs a new Lexus, have the popo hit you".

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

What a thug. The only reason the child didn't whoop the thug's ass was because that badge gives him carte blanche to attack with impunity. And then they lied about it.

Take them to court. It's what would have happened without the uniform anyway.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

don't they have leash laws around these parts of Indiana?

Justretired
Justretired

Bet little thugs saying, damn he knocked me on my precious ass. Now momma and daddy, if he knows his daddy, get a new house cause little thug bowed up and got touched by blue. Do I condone it no, but why did the little thug bow up? Guess mamma and daddy didnt spank that ass enough. See the difference is if I bowed up to a LE when I was younger and got my ass whipped and went to jail my pops would've left my ass there. Fck these new premadonas pussies.

LitheSteel
LitheSteel

If I was driving by and heard a call of a Large fight at a blac skoo, I would take my lunch first.

tfort
tfort

Why can't cops learn that you cannot hit someone just because you are mad? Why can't cops learn that you cannot lie? I guess this cop wasn't paying attention when he was in the academy.

I blame the cop's parents for not teaching him respect for the Constitution or his oath he took - that oath was just another lie....

Sworn to Serve
Sworn to Serve

All these tough guys wanna run their mouths until....pow. Now let's sue, oh I'm hurt, racist, nazi, power hungry. Whatever, keep running that "wash" and see what happens pansies.

bryantrent
bryantrent

That officer is out of the job

gfc1963
gfc1963

Hope the officer does not lose his job. That punk got what he deserved.

Gramercy
Gramercy

The video does not lie..only people can do that!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

This po-po did a couple of bad no-no's. Probably we be charged for assault soon and will probably get a six month sentence (which might be suspended, but hopefully not). I am more disappointed about the lying than the punching.

TIME FOR BODYCAMS IMPD! That way you don't have to rely on civilians to find the bad apples and get rid of them fired quickly so that eager and honest new recruits, young and old, can take their place in the pension program and get really, really good health insurance.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Hate to agree with the resident trolls here, but that looked like a clear case of unnecessary escalation by the cop. Yeah, the sweet little angel shouldn't have gotten in the cop's face, but based on the video was no reason to punch him.

Now if the kid swung first, attacked the officer, or resisted arrest, that's a different story.... but that didn't seem to be the case in this situation.

flybynight
flybynight

"A boy in a red shirt stopped on the stairs and squared up to an officer, telling him he’d “better chill out bro.” 🤔🤦‍♂️Dumb 💩

61mouse
61mouse

Going to act like a grown up thug, expect to have your ass kicked by a REAL adult

Ace17
Ace17

Great article Sandy

Calilivin90
Calilivin90

Cop was unprofessional and wrong. Kid needs to learn some respect for Elders and Law Enforcement. It's a vicious cycle. People want respect from cops yet dont respect back and vice versa.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

He should have learned respect at home from his screaming mama. You don't ever get up in a cops face acting like a little punk, telling him to chill! Dumb a$$

Les_gpt
Les_gpt

Pathetic cowardly cop getting what he deserves. He makes it bad on all cops. The other two where just as bad for allowing it ti continue. At least the female spoke up during the investigation.

TCutler
TCutler

The mom needs to understand her role in instigating things. We don't know what happened before the video started and don't see the officers fist. The kids mom sounded out of control and should have been listening to the officers instructions to leave instead of screaming.