An Officer Stomped An Unhoused Man In The Head – On Video

Monument Circle in Indiana
Zain Murdock
October 28, 2021

On September 24, 2021, Indianapolis sergeant Eric Huxley handcuffed a man who was yelling at a public monument. Then, on video, Huxley stomped on the man’s face! The man’s name is Jermaine Vaughn. And his family had been looking for him for two years.

Vaughn, a 39-year-old unhoused man, has paranoid schizophrenia. That’s likely why he was yelling, and when a bystander reported his “disorderly conduct,” police clearly weren’t equipped to handle his mental health situation.

Unhoused people are 6.5 times more likely to be killed by police. And when you’re disabled, it’s much worse.

Tag Griffin, a representative from Hearts in Hand Homeless Outreach, believes officers need mental health training to handle behavior like Vaughn’s. But IMPD officers actually ARE trained in crisis intervention! Training can’t give them empathy.

But there’s another question we have to consider.

Why should someone be arrested for being unhoused and schizophrenic? Police and the state facilitate a cycle: Black people get brutalized and incarcerated, then can’t find housing once they get out, which affects their mental health. Then they end up more likely to be brutalized and incarcerated again! But we don’t have to just accept this.

We can challenge the system as is and imagine a society where no one has to be unhoused, and no one has the power to brutalize people unchecked. Let’s start planning for one.

We have a quick favor to ask:

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