INDIANAPOLIS — A family has filed a federal lawsuit after an Indy Metro Police officer punched a Shortridge High School student in an altercation that was caught on video.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Danielle Pointer and two teenage relatives, makes claims against three officers: IMPD Officer Robert Lawson and two officers employed by Indianapolis Public Schools.
According to the suit, a 17-year-old student was attacked by other students inside the school and a relative — who also attends Shortridge — tried to intervene. IPS called IMPD for assistance and the two teens were escorted out of the building.
They were met by Danielle Pointer, who was called to Shortridge by administrators but was unable to enter the building because it was on lockdown.
The suit claims Pointer was upset with school administrators because they “would not respond to her complaints” about police conduct. She began voicing her concerns during an exchange with officers.
One of the students began recording video of the exchange. Ofc. Lawson can be heard telling Pointer, “You want to go to jail?… Let’s go right now,” the suit states.
Pointer began walking away from the school. The suit says one of the students heard Ofc. Lawson order Pointer to stop and approached Lawson with his arms at his sides.
That’s when Lawson punched the teenager in the jaw, put him in a headlock, and kneed him in the abdomen, the suit claims.
Ofc. Lawson put the teenager he punched in handcuffs. He then “unarrested” him and released him from custody, the lawsuit claims.
The suit also states that Lawson lied in a police report when he said he hit the student with an “open palm.”
Lawson has been suspended without pay from IMPD.
A new video of the incident has been released:
Screencapture provided by WISH-TV.