EDITOR’S NOTE: We have chosen to remove the victim’s name from the article and all quotes. The victim will be referred to as the man outside of quotes or in brackets when he is mentioned in quotes.
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer who was captured on body camera stomping on a handcuffed man’s face is now facing a federal charge.
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Sgt. Eric Huxley with deprivation of rights under color of law. The charge comes as Huxley faces charges locally over his actions during an arrest in September 2021.
IMPD body-worn camera video of the incident shows a man arguing with an officer when he was forced to the ground. That’s when Sergeant Huxley walked up.
“[The man] is on his backside on the ground, looking up at Ofc. Shores with his hands cuffed behind his back,” reads the probable cause affidavit against Huxley in the local case against Huxley. “Sgt. Huxley then walks over to [the man], lifts his left leg and drives his left foot down into [the man’s] face. Within seconds, blood is visible in [the man’s] mouth.”
The federal grand jury indictment alleges that Sergeant Huxley used his foot to hit the man without lawful justification. It also alleges that the offense resulted in bodily injury and involved the use of a dangerous weapon.
Locally, Huxley also faces termination along with felony charges of battery and official misconduct.
“This incident was unnecessary and should have never occurred,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor after the indictment was handed down. “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 man] and his family.”
The city, police department, and police chief also face a separate federal lawsuit claiming that two of the officers who reported Huxley for the incident faced retaliation.
Huxley was suspended without pay during the local investigation. The civilian-led merit board will eventually help make a final decision on Huxley’s employment.