US cop arrested and sacked for assaulting Indian in Madison

Video evidence nails Madison police officer, FBI joins probe

GN Bureau | February 13, 2015


#US   #india   #assault   #fbi   #patel   #sureshbhai   #madison   #alabama  


With India putting pressure and the US setting in motion its internal laws into process, one of the two police officers who allegedly assaulted the 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel in Madison, Alabama, has been arrested and FBI will be conducting a probe into the matter.

Madison police officer Eric Parker turned himself in to face assault charges. He will face charges of assault third degree. Parker was released on a $1,000 bond.

Larry Muncey, the Madison City Chief of Police apologized to Sureshbhaitel, who was wrongfully assaulted by two police officers, without any provocation. “I sincerely apologise to Mr Patel, Mr Patel’s family and our community. We strive to exceed expectations,” Muncey told reporters at a news conference.


Madison Police Chief announces arrest of officer who threw Indian grandfather to the ground

“Additionally FBI would be conducting a parallel inquiry to ascertain if there were any federal violations,” Muncey said after he released audio and videos related to the incident.

Also Read: US explanation sought into beating of Indian by cops in Madison

“As a result of the investigations, I found that Mr Parkers’s actions did not meet the high standard and expectations of the Madison City Police Department,” he said.

Muncey has also recommended that Parker be fired for his use of force against a man who committed no crime, did not speak English and could not understand the commands.

Five members of the local Indian community along with Indian Consul Anil Kumar watched the video from the patrol cars and listen to the non-emergency call that led to the violent confrontation.

In the video, Patel is seen walking quietly in a sidewalk. He is not seen peeping at any of the houses or garage as was the police told in an non-emergency call it received from a neighbour, after which a police car was rushed to the neighbourhood.

In the video, two police officers are see approaching Patel and asking him questions – like name, address and identity card.

Patel is heard saying “No English” and pointing his finger towards his son’s home. Soon one of the police officer, later identified as Parker, is seen violently throwing Patel on the ground and threatening him not to leave. It is at this time it appears Patel was paralysed, apparently by shock. Moments later when two police officers try to walk him,

Patel is not able to stand on his own. Patel was severely injured in the incident, said his attorney Henry F Sherrod.  He has filed a suit in federal court, arguing police used excessive force and that they had no cause to stop Patel on a public sidewalk and search him.

Sherrod welcomed the news of the dismissal of this officer, as he called for exactly that on Tuesday. But Sherrod said Madison should never have released a statement suggesting that Patel had been looking into garages or was in any way responsible for the incident.

"They didn't do that on Monday," said Sherrod. "On Monday they were trying to blame Mr. Patel. On Monday they were minimizing this. I'm glad they apparently are starting to do the right thing. But why weren't they doing this on Monday? With those videos."

The incident was condemned by Indian community members across the globe. Meanwhile, an online fundraising campaign has started to help the Patel family with their mounting medical bills. Nearly $12,000 was raised by Thursday evening.

Transcript of the call made to the police

The caller early Friday morning reports an individual walking on the street near his home. "He was doing it yesterday and today...He's just on foot. He's just kind of walking around close to the garage."

The operator asks what the man looks like. "He's a skinny black guy, he's got a toboggan on, he's really skinny."

"Do not jerk away from me again, or I will put you on the ground. Do you understand?"

He adds: "I've lived here four years and I've never seen him before."

The caller says: "I'm just kind of following from a distance now." He says he is about to go to work and is nervous to leave his wife with the man walking around outside.

Video and audio tape details


Entire video of Alabama police throwing Indian grandfather to the ground

The dashboard camera shows two officers, field trainer Parker and his trainee Andrew Slaughter, approach the man just after 8 a.m. on Friday. The man stops and turns and steps toward them. The audio offers a clips of the interaction, mainly just what the officers say.

"What's going on sir?"

"You what?"

"India."

"Where you heading?"

"Where?"

"I can't understand you, sir."

"Where's your address?"

"Do you have any ID?"

"India?"

"Do you live here."

"Sir, sir, come here."

"Do not jerk away from me again, or I will put you on the ground. Do you understand?"

Eventually, the two officers turn Patel around and have his hands behind his back. At one point, as another patrol car pulls up, Parker yanks his arm and slams him into the ground. Patel cannot put out his hands to break his fall.

The video continues, with officers trying to get the man to stand. One officer begins picking dirt and debris off of him. The concern slowly becomes evident in their voices.

"He don't speak a lick of English."

"I tried to pat him down but he tried to walk away from me."

"I don't know what his problem is but he won't listen."

"He was trying to walk away."

"Did you bite your lip?"

"He OK?"

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