An officer from the Madison Police Department in Alabama has been recommended for termination after making a stop that left a 57-year-old Indian citizen partially paralyzed, WHNT 19 reports.
Madison Police Officer Eric Parker has been charged with third-degree assault in the incident, with Police Chief Larry Muncey declaring that Parker’s actions did not meet the department’s standards. Parker reportedly turned himself in on the charge, according to the news station.
Video and audio of the encounter with Sureshbhai Patel, who was visiting his son in Madison to help out with his new grandchild, was released. The video shows Patel being thrown face forward to the pavement while his hands were apparently restrained behind his back.
“I sincerely apologize to Mr. Patel, Mr. Patel’s family and our community. We strive to exceed expectations,” Chief Muncey said at a Thursday news conference.
According to WHNT 19, the FBI is also conducting a civil rights inquiry and will hand over its findings to the Department of Justice to see if any further actions need to be taken.
Over the weekend, someone from the neighborhood called the authorities, describing a “suspicious” man who was looking at garages and other homes. Officers responding to the call found Patel, who was merely taking a walk and minding his own business.
Patel does not speak English and mentioned as much as officers approached him, while also reciting his son’s house number. It was at that point that officers slammed him to the ground, injuring him. Patel had to undergo surgery to fuse two of his vertebrae and has lost a wide range of movement in his legs and arms. His son, Chirag Patel, was told that his father should be able to regain full mobility, but it would require intensive therapy.
Read more at WHNT 19.