In the latest flagrant display of white police officers using excessive force on Black men during an arrest, an Indianapolis police sergeant has been charged with kicking an emotionally disturbed and handcuffed man in the head — and the whole event was captured in his body camera footage.
CNN’s Amir Vera and Melissa Alonso reported that “an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has been criminally charged and could face termination after body camera video showed him kicking a handcuffed man in the head during an arrest.”
The incident in question began on the night of Sept. 24 when three officers, including Sgt. Eric Huxley, were sent to investigate a man reportedly engaging in disorderly conduct in the Indianapolis area known as Monument Circle.
Jermaine Vaughn, the man who was getting arrested in the video, was reportedly talking loudly to himself in the public area and was initially resistant to the officers’ questioning, so they decided to place him under arrest.
“Vaughn is heard telling the officer, ‘nobody cares what you do anymore,’” Vera and Alonso reported. “Vaughn and the arresting officer then get in a scuffle when the officer began pushing Vaughn back and told him to lean back.”
Vaughn is then seen on the ground handcuffed and being searched by the arresting officers. Moments later, with Vaughn still on the ground on his back, Huxley is seen walking over kicking Vaughn’s head, saying, ‘you’re done.’”
In a press conference, IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said Vaughn was ultimately arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to jail. Foley added that Vaughn did not receive medical treatment following the incident.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said he learned about the incident during an internal “use-of-force” review of the case conducted after Vaughn’s arrest. Upon hearing details of the case, Taylor ordered “an expedited internal affairs investigation and Special Investigation Unit investigation” and immediately requested that the bodycam footage be made available to the public.
Taylor presented the video footage to the press in a subsequent news conference, calling it “difficult to watch.” He also released a statement that read, in part, “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.”
Video shows an IMPD Officer…who police identify as Sgt Huxley kicking Jermaine Vaughn in the head during an arrest on Monument Circle. At the time Officers were investigating alleged disorderly conduct & arrested Vaughn. pic.twitter.com/GAnw8kJFkx
— Emily Longnecker (@EmilyWTHR) October 12, 2021
“Transparency is one of those things that we’ve been striving for,” Taylor said, explaining why he was so quick to order the release of the bodycam footage. “We’ve done that because we want to build the correct relationship with the community that we need to have.”
When asked by reporters if he thought race played a role in the case, he said he hoped not, adding that “no racial epithets” were used during the arrest.
“I would be disgusted,” Taylor added. “I would have an issue with that, but I understand what people will think.”
According to Vera and Alonso, the results of an internal investigation into the arrest led the Marion County District Attorney to charge Huxley with official misconduct and battery with moderate bodily injury.
Huxley has since been suspended from his police force job without pay, and city officials have recommended that he should also be terminated entirely for his actions. The Internal Affairs investigation into the case is also still ongoing.
For his part, Huxley continues to claim he “accidentally” kicked Vaughn in the face and “meant to place his foot on Vaughn’s shoulder.”