Following accusations that he used excessive force when he stomped on a shackled Black man’s face during an arrest in September 2021, an Indiana police sergeant has been indicted on a federal crime.
A federal grand jury apparently accused Sgt. Eric Huxley for allegedly violating the civil rights of the arrestee by using excessive force, according to WRTV. The arrestee allegedly suffered a bodily damage as a result of the sergeant kicking his head and face “without lawful reason,” according to the indictment.
The indictment further states that “a hazardous weapon” was used in the alleged attack. Huxley has also been charged separately with official misconduct and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury in addition to being indicted on one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.
Following the event, Huxley was placed on indefinite leave without pay while an inquiry was conducted. Randall Taylor, the chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), also suggested that the sergeant be let out of his responsibilities.
“This incident was unnecessary and should have never occurred. I would not tolerate this behavior from any community member; Sergeant Huxley is no exception. As law enforcement officers, we must understand that this behavior violates the community’s trust. We have confidence the judicial system will bring justice to (the victim) and his family,” Taylor said in a statement.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the arrestee told a detective about the incident from September 2021. The suspect claimed to have been approached by an IMPD officer at Monument Circle, according to the investigation. Additionally, the detainee said he was “practicing his First Amendment right to free expression” at the time of the incident and not speaking to anyone.
The suspect claimed to have had a cordial interaction with the police at first, according to the detective. According to WRTV, the man claimed that as the officer got out of his car, he could hear him pleading for help. According to the affidavit, he claimed to the investigator that he was shouting and chatting when the officer urged him to leave the scene.
The officer later informed the man he was “under arrest” after two other officers responded to the scene. The arrestee was said to be yelling at the officers as the officer was placing him in handcuffs.
In body camera footage, a handcuffed man is seen on the ground before Huxley “lifts his left leg, and drives his left foot down” into his face, the affidavit states. The arrestee’s mouth becomes bloodied “within seconds.”
Following the incident, Chief Taylor called for a probe into previous use of force encounters associated with the three officers.