IMPD officer gets 1 year sentence after using excessive force during arrest

INDIANAPOLIS — A suspended IMPD officer will spend the year in federal prison after pleading guilty to using excessive force during a 2021 arrest in downtown Indianapolis.

Eric Huxley, a 44-year-old sergeant with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was sentenced Friday to one year and one day in federal prison.

The sentencing comes after Huxley pleaded guilty in May to violating the civil rights of an arrestee by using excessive force.

The federal charge against Huxley stems from an incident on Sept. 24, 2021, when the on-duty IMPD Sergeant was patrolling downtown Indianapolis. Court documents in Huxley’s case show another IMPD officer asked him to help in confronting a disorderly person on Monument Circle.

Court records and bodycam footage show that after other officers arrested the victim, identified as J.V., for disorderly conduct, Huxley was asked to help with an “inventory of J.V.’s property.”

Body camera footage of the arrest shows J.V. arguing with an officer who was trying to remove his belt. J.V. is then forced to the ground by officers before Huxley is seen walking over and stomping on the man’s face.

On Friday, a release from the US District Attorney’s Office said that the “maneuver” used to take down J.V., who had already been handcuffed, was department-approved. They also said that Huxley’s actions were unnecessary.

“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 then intentionally raised his right foot and drove it down onto J.V.’s head and face.”

U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana’s Office

Huxley, who is currently suspended without pay from IMPD, will now spend the next year in prison after a Friday sentencing imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. In addition to the one year and one day prison sentence, Judge Stinson also ordered that Huxley be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following his release.

Representatives from the US District Attorney’s Office said the sentencing against Huxley is about holding police accountable.

“This sentence holds a [suspended] police officer accountable for abusing his authority when he violently assaulted a homeless man who posed no threat,” said Assistant AG Kristen Clarke.

On Friday, before Huxley’s sentencing was publicly announced, IMPD Lt. Shane Foley released the following statement on behalf of the department.

IMPD is aware that today Eric Huxley was sentenced on federal charges. This investigation was the culmination of an internal use of force investigation and criminal investigation. When Chief Randal Taylor learned the facts of this incident, he ordered an immediate review by the Special Investigations Unit and by Internal Affairs.  

Huxley remains suspended without pay. Chief Taylor has asked the Civilian Police Merit Board to terminate Huxley’s employment with the IMPD. His recommendation is still pending a determination by the board, which will happen after the criminal process is complete.  A criminal case remains open with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

The plea agreement Huxley filed in May and Friday’s federal sentencing do not protect the suspended officer from state prosecution; he faces official misconduct and battery charges in Marion County. A pretrial conference for that case is set for Oct. 3, 2023.

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