Indianapolis police officer charged after a video showing him striking a 17-year-old went viral

Muncie, Ind. (NewsLink) - An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer was charged today after a Facebook video showed officer Robert Lawson striking a 17-year-old student back in August. 

Lawson was charged with battery, obstruction of justice, perjury, false informing, and official misconduct. 

Most of these charges stem from the false report Lawson filed on Aug. 29th, claiming that the attack was warranted and in self-defense. Lawson also mentioned that after the “open-palm” strike, the officer’s handcuffed the student without further force. 

The Facebook video shows the complete opposite. 

In the video, the officer is shown continuously punching the student and striking his knee while getting detained. 

Lawson is suspended without pay and is expected to turn himself in. The teen’s family has already filed a federal lawsuit against Lawson. 

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach released a statement about the incident.  

“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,”  said Roach.

Roach wanted to clarify that this is not usual behavior.  

“We strive to hold ourselves to a high standard and will continue to review this incident and others to identify ways we can improve as an agency. The women and men who serve our city remain focused on building trust with our neighbors and working together with the community to make Indianapolis a safer place for every resident.”  

For any comments or concerns about this story, contact the author at ljhellman@bsu.edu  

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