Sureshbhai Patel pictured partially paralyzed

AL Officer Seen Face-Planting Indian Citizen Indicted For Rights Violation


Madison, AL police officer Eric Parker was federally indicted for a civil rights violation that carries up to 10 years in prison, Friday.

Parker, 26, and another officer had been responding to a call on Feb. 6 about a suspicious person walking on Hardiman Place Lane. The caller said he had seen the man before and was nervous about leaving his wife home alone.

Sureshbhai Patel, who does not speak English, had arrived in the country about a week earlier. His son, Chirag Patel, is an engineer for a government contractor.

Chirag Patel said his father had received permanent resident status and had come from the Indian town of Pij to help care for hisĀ 17-month-old grandson. He said his father liked to take a walk in the morning.

Video from a dashboard camera shows Parker and another officer confront Patel. At one point, Parker slams the 57-year-old Patel to the ground.

Watch the raw footage:

Madison police later called paramedics. Patel was left partly paralyzed. He was transferred from Madison Hospital to Huntsville Hospital where he underwent spinal surgery.

“Police officers are sworn to uphold the law and protect the public,” federal Attorney Joyce White Vance said. “The public must be able trust the police.”

The indictment of Parker for “deprivation of rights under color of law” lists the right “to be free from unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by one acting under color of law.”

Parker also faces trial in Limestone County on April 29 on a local charge of misdemeanor assault, which carries up to one year in jail.

Patel’s attorney has also filed a civil federal suit against Parker and against the City of Madison. That suit is on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trials.

The FBI is currently investigating the incident.