Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. confirmed his office has called for Indiana State Police to investigate excessive force allegations against three sheriff’s police officers.
Those three officers, all supervisors, hold the ranks of lieutenant, sergeant and corporal.
Miata L. Lawson, 27, was arrested after the officers responded about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday to a domestic disturbance in the 2500 block of Adams Street in Gary, according to a police report.
Lawson was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, battery on law enforcement and public intoxication.
She later filed an excessive force complaint against the county officers with the Gary Police Department.
Martinez said he and his police chief looked into the matter and determined it warranted further investigation.
The sheriff declined to disclose other details, citing a pending investigation into the excessive force allegations.
According to the police report, police responded after an officer saw a man and woman screaming at each other before going into a home.
An officer spoke with Lawson, who said she was arguing with the man and didn't need police assistance, the report states.
The man yelled profanity and insults at officers, so police told him to calm down and remain inside the house. Eventually, police decided to leave and allow the couple — who both appeared intoxicated — to go inside the house, the report states.
While officers were returning to their patrol cars, the man came outside yelling and threatening them, according to the report. The woman also came back outside and began arguing with the man.
Officers began walking back toward the house because it appeared the dispute between Lawson and the man might re-escalate and they planned to ask if she needed help leaving safely, the report states.
Lawson allegedly approached a lieutenant in an aggressive manner, while the man exited the house and walked down the stairs. The officer attempted to move the woman to the left and approach the man to ensure he had not gotten a weapon while inside the home, according to the report.
Lawson pushed the lieutenant, he shoved her out of the way as the man continued to exit the home, and Lawson charged the lieutenant, according to the report.
Lawson is accused of grabbing his face and scratching his ear, cheek and eye. The officer grabbed her, and she hit him in the left temple, knocking off his glasses, the report states.
Lawson spun around and attempted to kick the officer in the groin, but struck him in the right inner thigh, the report says. The officer tackled her and took her into custody.
Lawson suffered a cut to her forehead, a split lip and other scratches because she resisted in a sidewalk area, the report states.
Lawson reportedly screamed at officers, asking them to take off the handcuffs and allow her to go back inside. She was placed in the grass near a curb and began spitting blood toward officers, the report states.
She was placed on her side, so the blood didn't hit officers. Officers initially called for an ambulance so medics could check Lawson before she was taken to jail. However, Lawson and the man continued to yell at police, so officers decided to take her directly to jail and ask medical staff check her there.
Lawson continued to cry, yell racial remarks and was uncooperative during the booking process, according to the report.
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