US jury still debating on assault on Indian grandfather

Washington, Nov 3 (IANS) A new US federal jury will continue its deliberations Tuesday in the case against an Alabama police officer charged with slamming an Indian grandfather to the ground while taking a walk last February.

After daylong deliberations Monday, the jury informed the US District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala in federal courthouse in Huntsville that it had not yet reached a verdict against Madison Police Officer Eric Parker, 27, for assaulting Sureshbhai Patel, according to

Parker has been slapped with a single criminal civil rights charge of deprivation of rights under colour of law for the Feb 6 takedown that left Patel partially paralysed and in need of spinal surgery. If convicted, he faces 10 years in federal prison.

The first trial of Parker ended last month with a hung jury returning a 10-2 verdict in favour of acquittal.

Patel, who had arrived six days earlier to live with his engineer son and care for his grandson was out for a walk when a neighbour called police about a suspicious man in the neighbourhood.

Patel, who does not speak English, testified through a translator last week that he did not jerk away and was standing still when Parker held his hands behind his back.

Parker has testified that Patel would not answer questions, walked away from police, reached for his pockets and pulled his hand away repeatedly during a pat down for weapons.

Parker also testified he did not intend to perform a leg sweep, but rather lost his balance while pulling Patel to the ground.

After a video of Patel’s takedown surfaced, Madison police fired Parker and arrested him on a state charge of misdemeanour assault. The firing and the misdemeanour charges are both on hold pending the outcome of the federal trial.

Throughout two trials now, Madison police have testified for and against Parker, some saying he violated policy and that they saw no threat, more testifying it is consistent with policy to take a non-compliant subject to the ground.

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