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GARY — Indiana State Police on Thursday confirmed they've been asked to investigate an excessive force complaint against three Lake County sheriff's officers.

Miata L. Lawson, 27, of Gary, filed a complaint with the Gary Police Department after sheriff's police arrested her May 9 in the 2500 block of Adams Street, authorities said.

"We've been asked by the Lake County Sheriff's Department to investigate the matter," said Master Trooper Glen Fifield, a spokesman for Indiana State Police. "We don't comment on current, active investigations."

Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said earlier this week his office called for state police to investigate after he and his chief of police looked into the matter and determined it warranted further investigation.

Lake County Council President David Hamm said Martinez made the right move handing it over to an independent agency.

“I truly believe that if Oscar didn’t feel something was wrong, he wouldn’t have turned it over to an outside agency. The sheriff is doing the right thing."

The sheriff's officers involved hold the ranks of lieutenant, sergeant and corporal. They have been placed on paid administrative leave, sheriff's spokesman Emiliano Perez said.

Officers responded about 1:30 a.m. May 9 to a domestic disturbance in the 2500 block of Adams Street in Gary, according to a police report. 

Lawson and a man at the residence were arguing and appeared intoxicated, the report states.

Lawson scuffled with police when she became aggressive with a lieutenant as the lieutenant attempted to approach the man. According to the report, the lieutenant wanted to ensure the man had not retrieved a weapon from inside the home.

Lawson is accused of grabbing and scratching the officer's face, ear and eye, hitting him, knocking off his glasses and kicking him in the leg.

She was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, battery on law enforcement and public intoxication.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.