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IMPD officers, who turned in sergeant for kicking handcuffed man in the face, sue city for alleged retaliation

The two officers were working as officers with IMPD on Sept. 24, 2021, when they were called to assist with apprehending Jermaine Vaughn on Monument Circle.

INDIANAPOLIS — Two IMPD officers are suing the department for retaliation after reporting their sergeant for alleged excessive force against a handcuffed man.

The two officers were working as officers with IMPD on Sept. 24, 2021, when they were called to assist with apprehending Jermaine Vaughn, who was homeless, on Monument Circle.

One of the officers held Vaughn's legs while the other handcuffed him. While Vaughn is on the ground, Sgt. Eric Huxley can be seen on body camera video kicking Vaughn in the face.

The two officers said they reported the alleged excessive use of force to superiors. After which, the officers allege the department accused them of not making a timely report and placed them on administrative leave. The two said IMPD then had to turn in their current patrol vehicles for older models that were "determined to be unsafe." 

The officers said they were removed from regular duty and not permitted to work overtime, part-time or any other form of security duty. They claim their fellow employees treated them with "disdain and as being untrustworthy and disloyal."

The officers claim in the lawsuit that when IMPD held a news conference on the incident, they were implicated along with Huxley in the excessive force incident. 

The officers are seeking punitive and other damages in an amount to be determined at trial. They're also requesting legal fees be covered.

The two officers have also filled charges of employment discrimination against IMPD with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

There is an ongoing federal investigation into use of force by Huxley.

RELATED: Federal investigation opened for use of force case against IMPD sergeant

Background on Vaughn

The family of Jermaine Vaughn was shocked to see the video showing him being kicked by Sgt. Eric Huxley while handcuffed, when it aired on 13News in October 2021.

"It was very shocking for my mother to call me and say he was on the news and getting his face stomped in by a sergeant," said sister Whittney Malone.

They were shocked because, at that time, they had no idea where Vaughn was. Malone lives in Richmond, Indiana. She said their family had been looking for Vaughn for two years.

"You never know what you're going to do or say until it happens to you or someone you love," Malone said.

Credit: Provided by family

RELATED: 'This has hit home' | Family of Indianapolis man kicked while handcuffed wants justice

She said before Vaughn developed paranoid schizophrenia, he was a good, hard-working man.

"He went to sleep and he woke up a different person. He had a breakdown. Mentally, he is like a 5- or 6-year-old, I think," Malone said.

She said he's been arrested several times for similar incidents. She finds it hard to understand why IMPD didn't see his history and try to help him.

"Shouldn't nobody be treated that way, whether he was competent or incompetent," Malone said.

Credit: Provided by family

Vaughn had been charged at that time with resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct, in connection to the incident. Those charges were later dismissed.

RELATED: IMPD sergeant facing criminal charges in use of force case

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