It should be clear to everyone at this point that many police officers forget they’re obligated to obey the laws they’re tasked with enforcing. And this fact especially tends to escape them when they’re dealing with Black suspects.
For example, one can imagine that Derek Chauvin was surprised the moment he realized he was going to spend more than two decades in prison for murdering George Floyd, despite the fact that a civilian would have shared the same fate if a man died after they pressed their knee into the back of his neck for the better part of 10 minutes.
Then again, maybe it’s the fact that cops are so seldom convicted or even charged with crimes they commit against Black suspects that has many of them thinking they can do whatever the hell they want so long as they can say they did it while performing their duties as an officer of the law. Maybe that’s why they’re always acting like some great miscarriage of justice has been committed against them whenever they find themselves fired, under investigation, arrested and/or convicted for the crime of police brutality.
Also, maybe they’re just racist.
According to WFYI Indianapolis, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that 44-year-old Indianapolis police sergeant Eric Huxley has been charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law (emphasis on “color”) over a September 2021 incident in which he kicked 40-year-old Black man Jermaine Vaughn in the face while he was handcuffed. The incident was caught on police body camera footage.
Now, a “back the blue” bootlicker is going to ask what Vaughn was being arrested for. What heinous crime did this danger to society commit to deserve to be treated so inhumanely?
Well, according to the Washington Post, Vaughn—my God, I can hardly get the words out it’s so vile—was yelling.
From the Post:
An affidavit filed in county court says Huxley was one of three officers who responded to a disorderly conduct report at a downtown monument the morning of Sept. 24. Vaughn was yelling, and one of the officers handcuffed him after he “refused to quiet down,” according to the affidavit.
Body-camera footage shows an officer, identified in the affidavit as Matthew Shores, ordering a handcuffed Vaughn to “lean back.” Vaughn, who is Black, says he can’t because the officer is holding his belt. At that point, Shores pushes him up a set of stairs and onto the pavement.
As the officer holds Vaughn to the ground by his collar, Huxley, who is White, can be seen stomping once on Vaughn’s face with his left foot. Seconds later, blood can be seen in Vaughn’s mouth.
“Stop. You’re done. You’re done,” Huxley says.
The fact is, it wouldn’t have mattered if Vaughn—who was initially arrested on charges of resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct before both charges were ultimately dismissed—had been some violent offender. He was handcuffed and did not pose a physical threat at the time he was kicked in the face by Huxley, who, by the way, is also facing local felony charges of official misconduct and battery resulting in moderate injury.
When it comes down to it, it appears that all that happened here was a cop brutalized a civilian because the civilian was talking sh** to him. This brings things back to my original point because police officers talk crazy to civilians (especially Black civilians) all the time—but we can’t kick them in the face for it. In fact, if a civilian kicked any subdued person in the face for any reason, they would be expected to be arrested and charged with assault immediately.
“This incident was unnecessary and should have never occurred,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement. “I would not tolerate this behavior from any community member; Sergeant Huxley is no exception. As law enforcement officers, we must understand that this behavior violates the community’s trust. We have confidence the judicial system will bring justice to Mr. Vaughn and his family.”
Unfortunately, there’s an entire culture of policing that doesn’t show the same energy in treating an alleged criminal act committed by a cop the same way it would treat a non-cop who committed the same act. In fact, according to WFYI, “two officers filed a federal lawsuit against IMPD, alleging that after they reported Huxley for the incident, they were retaliated against.”
And that’s the problem. Too many cops think they’re above the law, and they expect the “blue wall” to back them no matter what they do.