After a second trial ended in a mistrial due to jury deadlock late last year, a judge has now granted a motion of acquittal filed by defense attorneys to dismiss the case against Alabama police officer Eric Parker, who stood accused of using excessive force in his arrest of an elderly Indian grandfather in February of last year. Prosecutors had been seeking a third trial against the police officer.
Sureshbhai Patel, who was 57 at the time of the attack and who had just arrived in the United States to help care for his infant grandchild, was walking in the early morning of February 6, 2015, when he was approached by two police officers including Officer Parker. Police were responding to a call of a suspicious “skinny Black guy” in the area. Patel, who doesn’t speak much English, was detained and being handcuffed when dashcam video (after the jump) shows Parker suddenly slamming an otherwise cooperative and non-violent Patel to the pavement. The injury left the elderly man permanently paralyzed and reliant on a walker for mobility.
A mistrial has once again been declared in the excessive force trial of Alabama police officer Eric Parker, who was caught on dashcam video in February violently slamming 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel to the ground during a routine pedestrian stop. Parker testified that Patel posed a dangerous threat to the officer, but video appeared to show Patel motionless and compliant in the moments prior to the brutal tackle that left the elderly grandfather partially paralyzed.
A first trial against Parker ended in a mistrial in September after 10 male (and non-Black) jurists voted to acquit; the jury’s sole Black female members sided with Patel. For retrial, Parker’s attorneys elected to go with a “full xenophobia” defense strategy: in opening arguments presented last month, they blamed Patel’s limited English proficiency and his non-citizen status for his assault.
58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel was out for a morning walk this February in the neighbourhood where his son lives, when he was stopped by Alabama police officer Eric Parker. Parker was responding to a 911 call about a “suspicious” “skinny Black guy” in the neighbourhood. Dashcam video shows that within minutes of Parker confronting Patel, the police officer senselessly and violently throws Patel to the ground, leaving the elderly man permanently paralyzed (video after the jump).
Parker was charged with excessive police force over the summer. However, last month that first trial ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury: 10 male jury members — none Black — voted to acquit, while the lone hold-outs were the jury’s sole two Black women members.
58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel had recently received permanent residency status to live in the United States and care for his infant grandson when he decided to go for a morning stroll around his family’s home. A neighbor spotted him on his walk and called police on a “suspicious”, “thin Black man”.
Officer Parker approached Patel in what Patel’s lawyers contended was an “unlawful” stop. In that stop, cellphone video shows Patel standing with his hands behind his back moments before Patel throws him to the ground. Patel was hospitalized as a result of the incident, and remains partially paralyzed.