Cop Who Partially Paralyzed Indian Man Arrested

Eric Parker will also likely be fired
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2015 7:17 AM CST
Updated Feb 13, 2015 7:45 AM CST

The Alabama police officer who partially paralyzed an Indian man out for a walk has been arrested and will likely be fired. The Madison police chief says he's recommended Eric Parker be fired because his use of force against someone who was unarmed, had committed no crime, and does not speak English "did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department." Parker turned himself in yesterday and will face assault charges, reports. Police have released audio and video related to Sureshbhai Patel's encounter with police, including video showing Patel being thrown to the ground and audio of the initial call to police from a neighbor of Patel's son, who says, "I've lived here four years and I've never seen him before." (Patel had arrived the week prior to assist with caring for his 17-month-old grandchild.)

Parker was actually a field trainer for the police department and had his trainee with him at the time of the confrontation. Audio reveals snippets of their conversation with Patel and highlights the communication barrier: When asked for his address, the 57-year-old just points, WHNT reports. At one point, an officer says, "Do not jerk away from me again, or I will put you on the ground. Do you understand?" As another patrol car pulls up and the officers have Patel turned around with his hands behind his back, Parker slams him forcefully to the ground; because of Patel's arm placement, he could not break his fall. As officers try unsuccessfully to get him to stand back up, their conversation reveals their awareness that "he don't speak a lick of English." The FBI is also investigating to see if federal laws were violated. A GoFundMe campaign for Patel has raised nearly $37,000 so far; the family says he remains partially paralyzed. (More police brutality stories.)

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