An attorney filed a lawsuit Wednesday against not only a cop accused of punching a Black teen but two other Indianapolis school cops who allegedly sprayed chemicals to break up a fight.
Three officers were named in the lawsuit, two of them under fictitious names Jane Doe and John Roe, according to the suit, which the Kinnard & Scott law firm sent Atlanta Black Star Wednesday.
The firm is representing the teen injured in the incident and two of his relatives who were on the scene during the encounter.
The named officer in the suit, Robert Lawson, was shown swinging on one of the teens in video shared on Facebook Thursday, but that’s not how the situation began.
It started with a fight between students, attorney Terrance Kinnard detailed in the lawsuit.
He said a brewing conflict escalated when other students at the school attacked his client in an interior hallway at the school.
The teen was identified as A.W., 17, in the lawsuit.
A relative of the teen, a 16-year-old boy named D.P. in the document, witnessed the incident and “attempted to intervene on behalf of his relative,” Kinnard said.
That’s when Roe and Doe “deployed an aerosol chemical agent against D.P.,” and with other staff members restrained the teens, “preventing D.P. and A.W. from defending against further attacks which were still ongoing,” Kinnard said.
At that point administrators called Indianapolis police to help with a “large fight,” according to a statement from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
When the officers arrived, one teen was in custody and the officers were asked to help with the boy’s mother, police said in the statement.
Kinnard identified the woman as Danielle Pointer.
Kinnard said when the woman initially arrived on the scene, the school was on lockdown, so she waited outside.
When the lockdown ended, both teens met the woman outside along with Lawson and an unidentified cop who had arrived on the scene by then, Kinnard said.
“Individuals appearing to be school staff or school administrators were watching from behind a closed door of the school,” Kinnard said.
Pointer was “loudly protesting against the actions police took against D.P. and A.W. and was further protesting law enforcement’s decision to not release the personal effects of A.W. from his school locker,” Kinnard said.
Pointer also complained about school workers refusing to address the situation.
After a few verbal exchanges between officers and Pointer, the situation escalated.
“A.W. maintained his arms at his sides and made no aggressive moves toward Ofc. Lawson or any other person on the scene,” Kinnard said. “At that time and without warning, Ofc. Lawson struck A.W. with a powerful closed fist punch which landed on A.W.’s left jaw.”