It’s always satisfying when a violent officer faces consequences for being unnecessarily brutal during arrests. That’s especially true when a police chief publicly chastises the officer and shows body camera footage to the public, as in the case of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Eric Huxley.
State authorities announced on Tuesday that Huxley is facing two felony charges after kicking Jermaine Vaughn in the head during his arrest at Monument Circle in Indianapolis. Police Chief Randal Taylor said during Tuesday’s news conference that the department became aware of the incident through internal use-of-force review procedures, according to CNN. Huxley is also facing a federal investigation by the FBI.
“To the citizen involved in this incident, my thoughts and prayers go out to you,” Taylor said in a statement, CNN reports. “That interaction does not represent IMPD and the work our officers do each day to keep our community safe.”
Taylor ordered both internal affairs and Special Investigation Unit investigations once he learned of the arrest. The Marion County District Attorney charged Huxley with two felonies, official misconduct and battery with moderate bodily injury as a result of the internal investigation.
Vaughn was charged with resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct following his arrest, but the charges have since been dismissed.
Huxley, IMPD Sgt. Christopher Kibbey and Officer Matthew Shores were involved in making the arrest, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Shores in a report wrote that Vaughn had become agitated during the arrest, and Shores “attempted a leg sweep,” eventually getting Vaughn to the ground.
But body camera footage released by police Tuesday shows officers ordering Vaughn to “lean back” as his hands are cuffed behind his back. When Vaughn asks “how the (expletive) am I gonna lean back,” Shores pushes him up the steps on Monument Circle and takes him to the ground.
As Vaughn is pinned on his back, Huxley can be seen stomping once on Vaughn’s face.
“Stop. You’re done. You’re done. You’re done,” an officer says.
The Indy Star reports that Huxley claimed to accidentally kick Vaughn in the face, according to a probable cause affidavit. The officer says he meant to place his foot on Vaughn’s shoulder. The affidavit also notes that blood could be seen coming from Vaughn’s mouth after the kick.
That’s really some type of force for placing your foot anywhere.
Huxley was one of three responding officers that day. The other two officers have been placed on administrative duty. Huxley was already suspended without pay pending the investigation, but Taylor is now recommending him for termination, CNN reports.
When asked if racial discrimination was at play, the police chief said he doesn’t believe so and noted that no racial epithets were used during the arrest.
“My hope is that the community understands that when these things come to our attention, we’ll deal with them quickly, get those people off the force,” Taylor said, according to the Star. “Please don’t hold that against our men and women that are doing a great job for you day in and day out.”