An Indian grandfather, Sureshbhai Patel, who was visiting his son in Alabama to meet his newly born grandson, was slammed to ground and left paralysed in 101 seconds after encountering the police early this year.
The second trial of police officer Eric Parker, accused of violently assaulting the 58-year-old also resulted in a mistrial as the Jury was not able to reach an unanimous decision. The first trial also ended with a hung jury in favour of acquittal.
Juries in criminal cases are generally, as a rule, required to reach a unanimous verdict, while juries in civil cases typically have to reach a majority on some level. A hung jury does not imply either the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
The prosecutors may retry the case for the third time, however, it may not happen and Parker could walk free.
Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of Patel following an encounter in a Madison neighbourhood off County Line Road on February 6.
The Indian grandfather slammed to the ground by an Alabama police officer last February told him “no English” five times and said “India” three times, according to US prosecutors.
Backdrop: The assault of Sureshbhai Patel occurred on February 6, 2015. Patel, a 57-year-old Indian national who was visiting his son in Madison, Alabama, U.S., was seriously injured after being detained by three police officers in a residential neighborhood. Patel had police called on him by a neighborhood resident for alleged suspicious behavior in the neighborhood and did not know how to speak English. There is video footage of the officer slamming Patel to the ground. He had to be hospitalized and is partially paralyzed as a result of the injuries. The incident lead to many accusations by citizens of police brutality and prompted a response from the Indian government. The incident was recorded on film by two police car dashboard cameras.
Former police officer Eric Parker, who is accused of injuring Patel, was fired from the Madison Police Department and charged with third-degree assault. In March 2015, Parker was charged by the FBI with felony civil rights abuse.