An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer is facing federal charges after bodycam evidence captured him stomping on the face of a handcuffed prisoner.
Sergeant Eric Huxley approaches 38-year-old Jermaine Vaughn, who is already on the ground, and kicks him in the face.
Sergeant Huxley came before a federal grand jury, which produced an indictment accusing him of unlawful deprivation of rights.
Huxley is already facing municipal prosecution for his actions following the arrest of Jermaine Vaughn in September 2021.
The incident’s body camera footage shows the homeless Vaughn arguing with another officer before being taken on the ground.
According to the officer, Vaughn was being uncooperative.
The man is lying on his back on the ground and looking upwards. His hands were handcuffed behind his back.
Sgt. Huxley then approaches him, raises his left leg, and drives his left foot into his face. The affidavit states that blood is visible in his mouth within seconds.
Sergeant Huxley kicked Jermaine Vaughn in the face with his left foot despite the fact that he was already on the ground and handcuffed.
Bodycam evidence reveals that Vaughn was already on the ground prior to the incident.
‘You’re done. You’re done. In the footage, an officer can be heard saying, “You’re done.”
His clothes fell off as he was rolled onto his stomach and searched. The video blurs his bare behind.
The head kick and the footage captured by the body-worn camera are the reasons why Huxley, a 14-year veteran, is now facing termination, criminal charges of violence, and official misconduct.
According to the grand jury indictment, Sergeant Huxley struck the individual with his foot without legal justification.
Sergeant Eric Huxley’s left foot strikes Jermaine Vaughn’s head seemingly out of nowhere.
It appears that Vaughn’s head was smacked into the concrete with great force.
At least four times after Vaughn is kicked, another officer can be heard telling him, ‘You’re done.’ Vaughn appears bewildered on the ground as he is repeatedly told, ‘You’re done.’
Vaughn is seen with a bloodied mouth and in shock after being stepped on.
In addition, the complaint states that the offense caused physical harm and involved the use of a hazardous weapon.
During the takedown, an officer can be heard asking Vaughn, “Are you sure we’re not going to do this?”
After Vaughn is kicked and appears stunned on the ground, at least four times, another officer can be heard telling him, “You’re done.”
Before IMPD Chief Randal Taylor became aware of the incident, which was discovered through the department’s routine Blue Team Use of Force reporting system, approximately two weeks had passed.
On the body-worn camera video, Huxley can be heard saying, “I accidentally kicked him in the face.” I accidentally kicked him in the face while attempting to place my foot on his shoulder.
Vaughn was incapable of defending himself against the officer’s use of force.
The incident was also captured by bodycams worn by other present police officers.
Huxley now risks termination in addition to felony violence and official misconduct allegations.
Huxley was placed on unpaid suspension throughout the local investigation.
This occurrence was unnecessary and never should have occurred. Sergeant Huxley is not the only member of the community whose conduct I would find intolerable. As law enforcement officials, we must recognize that this conduct breaks the trust of the community. Chief Taylor expressed confidence that the legal system will deliver justice to the guy and his family.
‘Honest to God, I’m here with a heavy heart,’ Taylor stated during a press conference on the Tuesday before the bodycam tape was shown, expressing his sadness.
“This footage is going to make you as outraged as it made me,” said the 34-year police veteran. There is no justification for it. Taylor stated that the bodycam footage was shared because “transparency is what we’ve been working for.”
We have taken this action in order to establish the necessary relationship with the community.
A civilian-led merit board will also weigh in on Huxley’s employment status with the force.
Two weeks passed before IMPD Chief Randal Taylor was made aware of the event, which was discovered via the Blue Team Use of Force reporting system.
Additionally, the city, police department, and police chief face a second federal lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, two of the officers who reported Huxley for his alleged acts were subjected to retaliation.
Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress stated that his office is aware of the occurrence and that the FBI has launched an investigation.
Childress said in a statement, “If the investigation shows prosecutable violations of any federal criminal statutes, the Department will take necessary action.”
“The footage speaks for itself,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears to Fox 59 News. It displays the events that led to the contact between the two people, and you can view the events unfolding in real time.
The remaining two officers, Sgt. Christopher Kibbey and Officer Matthew Shores, have been placed on administrative duty until the inquiry is complete.