NRIs

U.S. policemen who attacked Indian man as he was strolling near his house arrested

February 13, 2015 10:33 AM
Sureshbhai Patel recovering in a hospital in USA

Washington: Police in Madison, Alabama, on Thursday evening announced the arrest of a police officer, Eric Parker, on assault charges after the release of videos showing Parker violently shoving Sureshbhai Patel (57), an Indian man, who had committed no crime but was simply taking a walk down an avenue of the quiet suburban locale.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department also expressed regret at the event, with Spokesperson Jen Psaki saying, “Our hearts go out to him and to his family… The Secretary and the State Department certainly express our strong condolences to the family for everything that he has been through.”

Mr. Patel, who was visiting his son Chirag to help care for his newborn grandson, lay partially paralysed on a hospital bed with spinal injuries and bled profusely from the nose after the incident, in which the police officer’s “dash-cam” showed Parker swiping Mr. Patel off his feet from behind causing him fall face-first into the asphalt sidewalk.

The incident caused a nationwide outcry among the Indian-American community here and elicited a sharp reaction from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, whose spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said on Wednesday, “We expressed concern at what appears from media reports as the excessive use of force by police… We have requested expeditious investigations and action taken.”

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department also expressed regret at the event, with Spokesperson Jen Psaki saying, “Our hearts go out to him and to his family… The Secretary and the State Department certainly express our strong condolences to the family for everything that he has been through.”

While she promised an investigation by local authorities in Alabama, Ms. Psaki added, that the State Department “would address any concerns through private diplomatic channels.”

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey said that he “recommended that Parker be fired for his use of force against a man, who committed no crime, did not speak English and could not understand the commands.”

Chief Muncey added, “I found that officer Eric Parker's actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department.”

However, reports suggested that Parker has been released from jail on a $1,000 bond.

Chief Muncey further said, “I sincerely apologise to Mr. Patel, Mr. Patel’s family and our community,” adding that the Federal Bureau of Investigation “would be conducting a parallel inquiry to ascertain if there were any federal violations.”

 

 

 

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