Brickbat: School Days
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Robert Lawson has been sentenced to 363 days probation after being convicted of official misconduct, a felony, for punching a high school student. The jury also convicted Lawson of perjury and false informing, but the judge in the trial vacated those convictions. Lawson and another officer were sent to Shortridge High School to help Indianapolis Public Schools Police Department officers break up a student fight. The aunt of one of the students arrived at the school, and a school police officer walked her nephew, who was in handcuffs, to meet her. The aunt began shouting at the officers, and Lawson threatened to arrest her. When Lawson tried to grab her, the nephew stepped between them. Lawson punched the boy on his neck and jaw, then pulled the boy's shoulders and neck down and kneed him in the chest. Officials say the felony conviction would likely mean the end to Lawson's law enforcement career. But the judge has said he will consider a defense request to convert the charge to a misdemeanor if Lawson successfully completes his probation.