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With one kick, IMPD sergeant now a federal felon

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Almost two years ago, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer was caught on camera stomping on the face of a homeless man during an arrest for disorderly conduct.

On Monday, that police officer pled guilty to one federal felony. 

“We’re not going to do this alright? Stop. You’re done, you’re done,” said one of the IMPD officers in the video seconds before Sgt. Eric Huxley stomped on a homeless man’s face.   

The video of Huxley was taken from another officer’s body-worn camera on Sept. 24, 2021. Huxley was one of three cops arresting a homeless man for disorderly conduct.

In the video, you can hear one of the officers telling the homeless man, Jermaine Vaughn, to “lean back,” and then you see a black patrol boot enter the video and stomp down on Vaugh. The boot belongs to Huxley. 

Vaughan was already in handcuffs and exchanging words with officers. When the police tried to get him to the ground, he resisted. That is when Huxley came up and stomped on his head.

In court documents, Huxley says there is no legitimate law enforcement reason for this action.  

“There were several factors going into it, but (Huxley) has always been remorseful. He knows they were thoughtless at the time, and he realizes it was a huge mistake for him to act in that manner. He is accepting responsibility,” said Huxley’s lawyer John Kautzman.

Huxley was immediately suspended without pay. IMPD’s chief has recommended he be fired. Huxley’s lawyer says he might still resign.

“We are in the process of discussion with IMPD right now,” Kautzman said. 

The question now is if Huxley will serve time in federal prison. The maximum possible sentence is 10 years, although federal guidelines recommend three years or less behind bars.

“Obviously, we are pleased that the judge accepted the plea agreement,” Kautzman said. 

The judge has not set a date for Huxley’s sentencing. Huxley is also facing charges in Marion County for the same incident, with a video hearing set for Tuesday.