Judge declares mistrial in US cop assault on Indian grandfather

credit: www.images.indianexpress.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

credit: www.s2.india.com
credit: www.s2.india.com

Washington: A 57-year-old Indian grandfather, who was slammed by an Alabama police officer as he was walking in his son’s neighbourhood that left him partially paralysed, has been served justice as a US judge declared a mistrial in the federal trial.

Eric Parker, the 26-year-old police officer, was charged with violating the civil rights under colour of law of Sureshbhai Patel during an incident on Feb 6, just six days after he had arrived from India to take care of his grandson.

Trying Parker in a Huntsville, Albama federal court, 12-person jury couldn’t reach a verdict in this US cop assault on Patel case, which must be unanimous. A US District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala declared mistrial, Al.com reported.

Based on the final note the jury sent to Haikala, no jury changed their position since deliberations began anew when an alternate juror was added on Thursday morning. Altogether, the new jury deliberated about 10 hours.

Prosecutor Robert Posey said the US government will try the case against Parker again.

“We plan to re-try the case and so another jury will get a chance to see this evidence and hear the testimony,” Posey said. “We will let them decide.”

The Patel family, through attorney Hank Sherrod, declined to comment on the mistrial in an email to AL.com.

Expecting a re-trial not very far in the future, Posey said federal law mandates the trial begin within 70 days, unless one side asks for a delay and it’s granted by the judge.

“Our team is going to go back and huddle up and review, as you might expect, everything that we’ve done and see if there’s anything we want to change,” Posey said.

“We were able to introduce all of our evidence. The jury got a chance to hear from the defendant. We’ll just look forward to the next time,” he said.

“Obviously some of them saw things our way and some of them didn’t. At the end of the day, we come back and try it again. We’ll see how that goes,” said Parker’s attorney, Robert Tuten.

The case has drawn international attention after video of the take down of Patel went viral.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley issued an apology to the government of India for the incident. In his apology, the governor described the actions taken by Parker as “excessive force.”

With inputs from IANS