An Indiana police sergeant has been indicted on a federal charge following allegations that he used excessive force when he stomped on a handcuffed Black man’s face during an arrest in September 2021.
According to WRTV, Sgt. Eric Huxley was indicted by a federal grand jury after it determined he allegedly violated the arrestee’s civil rights by using excessive force. The indictment claims that the arrestee sustained a bodily injury after the sergeant kicked his head and face “without lawful justification.”
The indictment adds that the alleged attack also “involved the use of a dangerous weapon.” And besides being indicted on one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, Huxley has also been separately charged with official misconduct and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury.
In the wake of the incident, Huxley was suspended without pay pending the outcome of an investigation. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Randall Taylor also recommended that the sergeant be relieved of his duties.
“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.
A probable cause affidavit stated that the arrestee shared the details of the September 2021 encounter with a detective. The man told the investigator that he was approached by an IMPD officer at Monument Circle. And at the time of the encounter, the arrestee said he was “practicing his First Amendment right to free speech” and not having a conversation with any individual.
The man told the detective that he initially had a peaceful conversation with the officer. The man stated that the officer later exited his vehicle and he heard him calling for assistance, per WRTV. He also told the detective he was talking and yelling when the officer instructed him to leave the location, the affidavit stated.
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.