US policeman faces retrial for assaulting Indian grandfather
A US police officer accused of violently assaulting a 58-year-old Indian grandfather that left him partially paralysed will face a retrial in Alabama on October 26 as the first attempt ended in a mistrial.
Washington: A US police officer accused of violently assaulting a 58-year-old Indian grandfather that left him partially paralysed will face a retrial in Alabama on October 26 as the first attempt ended in a mistrial.
In the previous trial, the jury was deadlocked as they could not agree whether Eric Parker acted unlawfully when he slammed down Sureshbhai Patel on February 6.
Parker was charged with violating the civil rights of Patel and using excessive force.
A new trial on the single count of deprivation of rights under colour of law was set for October 26, according to Peggy Sanford, spokesperson for the US Attorney's Office. A pretrial hearing is set for October 6, AL.Com reported.
The defence argued that police were responding to a call about a 'suspicious man' who walked away from officers.
The defence said Patel pulled his hand away from Parker and that he could have had a dangerous weapon in his pockets.
However, Patel had just arrived in the US days earlier to care for his 17-month-old grandson. He was taking a morning walk on the street in front of his engineer son's home. He testified that he does not speak English and that he did not pull away from officers. Patel was left partly paralysed, was hospitalised and had cervical fusion surgery.
The original trial ended in a 10-2 split in favour of acquittal, according to jurors. Soon after the judge declared a mistrial on September 11, Robert Posey, Assistant US Attorney, said that the federal government would retry the case.
After the mistrial, Judge Jeanne Anderson in Limestone County again postponed the state case for misdemeanor assault. Parker was charged by his own department with third degree assault. The office of the Alabama Attorney General office is handling the prosecution.
Patel's arrest, which was filmed, drew international attention. Footage from police cameras showed the grandfather - who speaks no English - approached by police officers who asked him questions like name, address and identity card.
Patel is heard saying "No English" and pointing 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.
The US government had expressed condolences to Patel's family but refrained to comment on any diplomatic discussion with India which has taken up the issue with it.