Second Mistrial Declared in Police Beating of Sureshbhai Patel

Sureshbhai Patel enters the courthouse in the trial against his assailant, Alabama police officer Eric Parker, who paralyzed Patel following a routine pedestrian stop. (Photo credit: AP/Brynn Anderson)
Sureshbhai Patel enters the courthouse in the trial against his assailant, Alabama police officer Eric Parker, who paralyzed Patel following a routine pedestrian stop. (Photo credit: AP/Brynn Anderson)

I just can’t even right now.

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.

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