American Justice Notebook

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Former Indianapolis Police Sgt. Guilty for Stomping on Suspect’s Head and Face

A former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sergeant pleaded guilty this week to violating the civil rights of an arrestee by using excessive force by stomping a suspect’s head.

According to court documents, on Sept. 24, 2021, Eric Huxley, 44, was on patrol in downtown Indianapolis when another officer requested his assistance in confronting a disorderly person on Monument Circle.

After officers placed the victim, identified as J.V., under arrest for disorderly conduct, Huxley assisted other officers with conducting an inventory of J.V.’s property.

When officers began to remove J.V.’s belt, he became confrontational with the officers. The primary arresting officer used a department-approved takedown maneuver to bring J.V., who had already been handcuffed, to the ground.

The arresting officer held J.V. down with one hand while a second officer restrained his legs. This reasonable and appropriate use of force effectively overcame J.V.’s resistance and rendered him physically unable to move.

Despite knowing that J.V. had been effectively restrained and posed no further danger to officers or the public, Huxley intentionally raised his right foot and drove it down onto J.V.’s head and face, according to authorities.

Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. Huxley faces up to 10 years in prison, officials stated.

(2021 NBC News Report)

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers for the Southern District of Indiana.

Adding, “officers put themselves at risk every day doing a difficult and sometimes dangerous job to uphold the law and protect their communities. Those who instead commit crimes must be identified and prosecuted. Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that the FBI, Department of Justice, and our U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to seeking accountability for those who violate people’s civil rights under the color of law.”

“Every day law enforcement officers in this country face dangerous situations requiring reasonable force to protect themselves and others. Unfortunately, some officers fail to adhere to the applicable standards of law and policy, inflicting harm instead of preventing it,” said Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office. “This guilty plea reflects the FBI’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all citizens, and I commend the work of the Special Agents and prosecutors who helped ensure the defendant was held accountable for his illegal conduct.”

The FBI Indianapolis Field Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Preston for the Southern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Alec Ward of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.