Date
22 January 2017
Eric Parker (right) testified in his initial trial that the injuries to Sureshbhai Patel were accidental. Photo: racefiles.com
Eric Parker (right) testified in his initial trial that the injuries to Sureshbhai Patel were accidental. Photo: racefiles.com

Retrial for US cop who threw man from India to the ground

A US police officer is being retried for throwing a man from India to the ground, causing serious injuries, in an incident recorded on video.

Eric Parker is being retried in federal court on accusations he used unreasonable force while working as a Madison, Alabama, police officer during the incident in February, Reuters reported.

A jury in Huntsville, Alabama, deadlocked last month on whether to convict or acquit Parker, 27, of a single charge of depriving Sureshbhai Patel, then 57, of his civil rights, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

Patel had recently come to the United States and spoke no English when he was stopped outside his son’s home during a morning walk by police responding to a call regarding a suspicious person.

Parker abruptly flipped Patel onto the ground.

Patel suffered extensive injuries from which he is not expected to fully recover, his lawyer has said.

The case drew international attention at a time of increased scrutiny of the use of force by US police officers, particularly against minorities.

Patel, who testified during the first trial, took the stand on Wednesday, local media reported.

Parker told jurors during the initial trial he was following his training and called Patel’s injuries accidental, the reports said. 

Madison police released video of the encounter, which had been recorded from inside a patrol vehicle, and apologized for Parker’s actions.

The department recommended terminating the officer, which Parker challenged.

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