An Indianapolis police officer is facing termination and felony charges of battery and official misconduct in connection with bodycam video allegedly showing him kicking the face of a handcuffed suspect who is on the ground.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor said during a press briefing on Oct. 12 that he learned of the Sept. 24 incident last week and immediately began an internal investigation. He recommended the termination of Sgt. Eric Huxley, a 14-year veteran of the department. Huxley was suspended without pay.
“These charges stem from a use of force incident involving Sergeant Huxley on Sept. 24, 2021. Sergeant Huxley was assisting another IMPD officer with an arrest on Monument Circle,” police said in a video briefing on YouTube.
Bodycam video of the incident shows a man identified as Jermaine Vaughn leaning in to officers and repeatedly telling them, “Nobody cares what you do anymore, you understand that?”
Vaughn admitted that he had been “talking/yelling to no one in particular when an IMPD officer approached him,” a probable cause affidavit filed with Marion County Superior Court says.
Officer Matthew Shores said in the affidavit: “Upon arriving I observed an adult male identified as Jermaine Vaughn who was being loud and disorderly. Sgt. [Christopher] Kibbey stated he could initially hear Jermaine Vaughn screaming all the way from the south spoke of the monument. Sgt. Kibbey ordered Jermaine Vaughn multiple times to quiet down. Jermaine Vaughn refused to quiet down and I placed him under arrest.”
The video shows Vaughn, who is handcuffed, being wrestled to the ground by one of the officers. The feet of an officer are seen in the video, and then Vaughn is kicked in the face. The officer can be heard saying, “You’re done.”
Vaughn is then heard saying: “There you go, police brutality.”
In the court document, Shores said: “While attempting to conduct an inventory of Jermaine Vaughn’s property, I began removing [his] belt. As I was doing so, Jermaine Vaughn became agitated and began pushing into me. I ordered Jermaine Vaughn to back up and pushed him back away from me; this occurred three times.
“Jermaine Vaughn continued to attempt to close the distance between him and I. I grabbed [him] by both sides of his hood top and attempted to maintain distance between us. I then used my right leg and attempted a leg sweep. Jermaine Vaughn went to his knees and I was able to place him on his back. … . I was the able to roll Jermaine Vaughn to his stomach and applied a wrist lock to Jermaine Vaughn’s right wrist. Jermaine Vaughn became compliant and I was able to complete my inventory.”
Vaughn stated “that when the officer attempted a leg sweep, he avoided the sweep and voluntarily went down to his knees. Vaughn stated that while he was handcuffed and lying on his back one of the officers kicked him in his face. Vaughn complained of a laceration, pain, swelling, and/or bleeding about his mouth/lip,” the affidavit says.
Assistant Police Chief Chris Bailey said on Oct. 12: “Today, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Police Chief Randal Taylor recommended the termination of IMPD Sergeant Eric Huxley following an internal IMPD investigation.
“The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has filed charges against Sgt. Eric Huxley to include: Official Misconduct (Level 6 Felony); Battery with Moderate Bodily Injury (Level 6 Felony).”
Chief Taylor, said: “Today’s body-worn cameras recording depicting the actions of an IMPD Sergeant are likely to shock and anger you, like it did to me. To the citizen involved in this incident, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. That interaction does not represent IMPD and the work our officers do each day to keep our community safe.”
A police statement also said the investigation is not yet complete,” and that two other officers allegedly involved in the incident had been put on administrative duty pending the conclusion of the internal investigation.
Sergeant Huxley has reportedly worked for the police department for 14 years while Kibbey has worked for the Department for 21 years and Shores is a police department veteran of 23 years, police said.
“Accountability and transparency will continue to be a top priority for the department,” Taylor said. “My hope is that my actions today will show that we will hold people responsible for their actions, and that goes for my officers as well.”
The statement also said that “Sgt. Huxley, as with anyone charged with a crime, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”
Edited by Judith Isacoff and Kristen Butler
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