INDIANAPOLIS — Two officers who reported their sergeant for excessive force after a 2021 arrest are now suing the city, department and police chief after they say they faced retaliation.

The lawsuit comes after Sergeant Eric Huxley was charged with felony charges of battery and official misconduct over his actions during an arrest in September 2021. During the arrest, court documents state:

“Vaughn is on his backside on the ground, looking up at Ofc. Shores. with his hands cuffed behind his back. Sgt. Huxley then walks over to Vaughn, lifts his left leg and drives his left foot down into Vaughn’s face. Within seconds, blood is visible in Vaughn’s mouth.”

While Officer Matthew Shores and Sergeant Christopher Kibbey did not face criminal charges in the case, the department said they were reassigned pending the results of an internal investigation.

A new federal lawsuit claims that reassignment and other complaints were a retaliation against the two for reporting Huxley’s use of force. Among the complaints listed in the lawsuit are:

  • The officers were not permitted to work overtime, part-time, or other forms of security duty
  • The officers were required to return their current police vehicles, which were replaced with older, unsafe vehicles
  • Chief Taylor disparaged the officers during the news conference about the excessive force incident.
  • The retaliatory actions would deter reasonable employees from complaining about unlawful acts of a superior officer or from participating in an internal investigation

The lawsuit alleges that Officer Shores told Sgt. Huxley that the video looked bad as to his use of force right after the September 24 incident. He called Huxley to ask what to put in his report, as he was Shores’ superior, but was advised not to put any of his information in, as Huxley would file his own report.

The document states Shores filed a report anyways the next day after reporting the incident to his superiors. A little over a week later, Shores and Kibbey were placed on administrative duty/leave, alleging Shores did not report what happened in a timely manner.

The two officers also claim they were publicly ridiculed after the October 12 news conference. The document claims Chief Taylor implicated them in the excessive force when there was no wrongdoing on their part.

The two are seeking relief from the city, department and Chief Taylor for damages they suffered, along with mental and emotional distress and attorney fees. They are demanding trial by a jury of their peers.