Originally published on February 19, 2015, at NationofChange.org
The Governor of Alabama formally apologized to the government of India after an officer from the Madison Police Department aggressively assaulted one of their citizens. Dash cam video from two patrol cars revealed the 57-year-old Indian man visiting American relatives had not been committing a crime when Officer Eric Parker slammed him to the ground leaving him partially paralyzed. As Officer Parker was charged with assault, online fundraising websites began accepting separate donations for Parker’s legal fund and the uninsured victim’s medical expenses.
While visiting his son’s family in Madison, Alabama, 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel was taking a morning walk when an unidentified person called 911 reporting a “skinny black guy” suspiciously peering into garages on February 6. Responding to the call, Officer Eric Parker and his partner pulled up alongside Patel and confronted him on the sidewalk. Patel, who does not speak English, struggled to communicate with the police officers while failing to answer their questions or comply with their orders.
“He’s saying, ‘No English,’” one of the officers informed his partner as they continued to interrogate Patel.
When Patel attempted to walk away from the officers, Officer Parker restrained him by pulling Patel’s arms behind his back. As Patel jerked away, Parker aggressively slammed his face into the ground. Dash cam video from Parker’s patrol car and another patrol car recorded the incident, which resulted in Patel’s bloodied nose and a severe neck injury leaving him partially paralyzed.