58-Yr-Old Grandpa PARALYZED After Cops Ram His Body Into Ground

fcpatel

2015/10/29

Observers are waiting with bated breath for federal prosecutors to call their first witness on Wednesday, October 28 in a court case that has garnered international interest.

This is going to be the second time a jury will discuss the matter of a cop accused of using unnecessary force against a non-English speaking elderly visitor to the United States.

Although the case against Officer Eric Parker seems straight forward, the last time a jury discussed the matter it ended in deadlock.

In a bizarre statement in the first trial, Parker’s attorney had argued that the victim was equally to blame for the abuse he suffered.

Following the jury’s non-unanimous verdict the victim’s family is hoping that a retrial shall deliver some relief.

The incident

Fifty-eight-year-old Sureshbhai Patel is from a village in India. He was looking forward to taking care of his 17-month-old grandson when he arrived in the United States earlier this year.

On the morning of February 6, he was out on his daily walk down Hardiman Place Lane wearing plain pants, a buttoned shirt, a sweater and a knit cap.

This is when Officer Parker approached him.

Unable to string together a proper sentence Patel explained himself in broken words saying “no English” five times and “Indian” thrice. He also told the officer he was “walking”.
He even pointed down the street and repeated his son’s house number.

Next, to his surprise, Patel found himself being searched for weapons – all the officer found on him was a green handkerchief.

This should have been enough to clear any suspicion that Parker had; however, he decided to further humiliate the innocent Indian grandfather.

The elderly gentleman’s arms were then restrained and the officer slammed him face first into the ground.

Patel, a frail man weighing no more than 140 pounds, suffered significant damage to his spinal cord. He became instantly paralyzed in the arms and legs following the severe force used on him.

Although, he has now had surgery to fuse his broken vertebrae together, he still cannot grip anything with his hands and has not regained use of his left leg.

The legal timeline

Immediately following the incident Patel’s son filed a lawsuit; He accused Madison police of using excessive force and racial profiling.

A week after the horrific encounter, Parker was charged with third-degree assault – a misdemeanor that can lead to at least one year behind bars and a $6000 fine.

On March 26 he was indicted by a federal grand jury, following this he was charged by the FBI for felony – according to the authority he had deprived a civilian of his right under the color of law. This charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

In April, the police officer pleaded not guilty.

When the jury met on September 11, 2015 it failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
Parker is being represented by defense attorney Robert Tuten who argues that it is actually the Indian man’s fault that he got beaten up.

He says that it is indeed regrettable that the gentleman cannot speak America’s dominant language.

“Mr. Patel bears as much responsibility for this as anyone.”

A contrasting history of mistreatment and achievement

A peek into Parker’s two-year career with Madison police shows that he had used excessive force at least once.

Late last year he was off duty at a shopping centre when a man attempted to rob him, the officer pulled out his gun and fired two shots missing the thug.

Following this incident he was placed on administrative leave and later cleared in the shooting.

He has also received two awards of achievement for performing well on the job.

UPDATE – 14 Jan 2016

A police officer has been acquitted of violating the civil rights of an Indian grandfather who was left with long-term spine injuries after being flipped on to his back in an arrest manoeuvre experts said was “violent”.
Eric Parker, 27, was sacked as an officer in Madison, Alabama after video footage showed him slamming Sureshbhai Patel to the ground.

The February 2015 incident drew international attention, expressions of concern from India’s external affairs ministry and a police apology for Mr Patel and his family.
However, Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala said gaps in evidence and conflicting testimony meant that Mr Parker could not be convicted of the charge of using excessive force and “deprivation of rights under colour of law” brought by the United States federal authorities after an FBI investigation.

The former officer could have faced 10 years in jail if convicted.
His acquittal followed two mistrials after juries could not unanimously agree on a verdict.

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About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5628 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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