Indianapolis cop accused of punching student facing criminal charges, prosecutors say

An Indianapolis cop is facing a slew of criminal charges over allegations that he punched a 17-year-old student, prosecutors announced Monday.

Robert Lawson has been charged with battery, obstruction of justice, perjury, false informing and official misconduct over the Aug. 29 incident at Shortridge High School, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said.

Lawson is accused of punching a student in the jaw without warning when called to the school to defuse a large fight. Video shows the boy falling to the ground. Lawson claimed he was defending himself.

Police Chief Bryan Roach said he'll recommend that Lawson be fired and that the department will use the incident to "identify ways we can improve."

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In a statement released Monday, Indianapolis Public Schools supported the charging decision, saying: “We will continue to work with everyone in our community to make sure that all of our children are provided a safe and secure learning environment.”

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Lawson is suspended without pay. It wasn't immediately known if he has a lawyer who could comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.