The officers were called to a middle school to handle a fight that had broken out. After a heated argument with one of the detained student’s mother, the officer made a threat and consequently punched the teenager.
A viral video showing a white Indianapolis policeman punching a 17-year-old-old Black student has led to the officer’s suspension without pay. As per reports, officer Robert Lawson was called to Shortridge High School to assist the administrators to quell what was described as a ‘large fight’ at roughly 1:30 pm.
Watch the video here:
#shortridgehighschool a officer at shortridge high school. Indianapolis,Indiana hits a child…wonder how this will be swept under the rug…..no one was correct in the energy of the moment..but officers are supposed to be trained to "not" act like this..shame on this man and the #IPS school system and #impd thats gonna let this fly😠😠😠(this is not me..nor is this my video..if you know who this victim is pls let me know)
Posted by Starla Denise-Mcgee Sams on Thursday, August 29, 2019
When they arrived at the scene, the officers were asked to assist a detained teenager’s mother as per police statements. Atlanta Black Star reports that the video began after the boy’s mother and police officers got into a heated argument.
The mother had entered the school’s campus to collect her son’s belongings as well as that of his male cousin. Both the boys were attacked during the brawl.
In the video, the officer can be heard asking the mother to leave the school property despite her explaining her presence.
When the mother questioned the officer for preventing her from protecting her child, officer Lawson can be heard asking: “You want to go to jail? You want to go to jail? Let’s go!”
It is unclear whether the threat was made to the apprehended teenager’s mother or at the 17-year-old himself. But after the officer made his threat, the 17-year-old steps up to the policeman and is face-to-face with him. This is the moment officer Lawson physically assaults the minor with a punch to the teenager’s face.
As per the officer’s statement, the boy was going to strike him, which is what prompted the punch.
The two were face-to-face when the video showed Lawson take a swing at the child, hitting him in the face. As per the officers follow up statement, Lawson alleged that the minor was going to attack him which is why he punched the teenager.
The video does not show the 17-year-old punching the officer.
The virality of the video prompted an internal investigation. Police Chief Bryan Roach confirmed that after a 36-hour review of the video followed by an extensive internal discussion, officer Lawson was suspended without pay.