An Indianapolis police sergeant who stomped on a handcuffed man’s face during an arrest was sentenced to one year and one day in prison Friday, federal prosecutors said.
Eric Huxley, 45, pleaded guilty in May to a civil rights charge. The violent incident during a Sept. 24, 2021, arrest for disorderly conduct was captured on body-worn camera.
“In addition to the trauma inflicted on victims, police officers who break the law and use excessive force damage the community’s trust in the law enforcement profession,” Zachary Myers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said in a statement.
Huxley raised his foot and brought it down on the face of Jermaine Vaughn, who was already handcuffed and who was already being restrained by another police officer, prosecutors said and video shows.
The body-worn camera video shows Vaughn was face up and on his back when he was kicked in the face.
Huxley was indicted in October on a count of deprivation of rights under color of law, which is a civil rights violation.
“We appreciate the Judge’s thoughtful consideration of this matter and are prepared to serve the sentence,” Huxley’s attorney, John Kautzman, said by email Friday night. “Eric has apologized to the victim and the community for his out of character actions that day, and looks forward to putting this matter behind him so he can focus on taking care of his family.”
Huxley has been suspended without pay and has been recommended for termination before the Civilian Police Merit Board, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
The recommendation remains pending before the board, and a determination will be made after the criminal process is complete, the department, known as the IMPD, said. There’s also a state case against him.
Police Chief Randal Taylor said in 2021 he was shocked and angered by the incident and that what occurred “does not represent IMPD and the work our officers do each day to keep our community safe.”
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.