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All lives matter, trial for assaulting Indian grandfather

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Washington: Assistant US Attorney Robert Posey on Friday “It’s not only police lives that matter, all lives matter,” after he weighed afresh evidence against an Alabama police officer charged for using excessive force on an Indian grandfather.

“The defence says the community must respect police, but the police must earn the respect of the community,” Assistant US Attorney Robert Posey told the jury in a Huntsville, Alabama court Friday in his final arguments.
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The first trial of former Madison Officer Eric Parker for Feb 6 slamming of Sureshbhai Patel, who had arrived days earlier from India to take care of his grandson, ended last month with a 10-2 in favour of acquittal.

If convicted, Parker faces 10 years in federal prison.

Posey told the jury that in deciding whether the force was excessive they need to look at the severity of the crime in progress, according to local Al.com.

The call from a neighbour about a suspicious person in the neighbourhood, said Posey, alleged only: “Walking, standing, looking. None of these are crimes.”

He also urged the jury to consider immediacy of the threat to the officer. “This officer is saying he had to do this because of his safety,” said Posey, arguing that walking away from officers is not evidence a suspect is armed.

Patel was not armed. “Just doesn’t make sense,” said Posey. Parker, he suggested changed his story after he realised he could not “stand him up and brush him off.”

He said then Parker began to develop a reason for the stop, asking a dispatcher for help identifying crimes in the area for probable cause. Posey said that suggests Parker knew what he did was wrong.

Defence attorney Robert Tuten put the blame on Patel saying “All Mr. Patel had to do was stop.”

He said if Patel had shown officers some identification, they would have written a report and sent him on his way. He said police are obligated to investigate calls from neighbours concerned about someone suspicious in the area.

Patel didn’t speak English and didn’t understand the officers’ questions. But, Tuten said there was no way Parker could know this was a “harmless Indian grandfather walking down Hardiman Place Lane.”

“We all feel sorry for Mr. Patel. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t,” he said, but he suggested the video shows Patel did not comply with police orders. “The event, this incident, was escalated by what Mr. Patel did. All he had to do was stand there.”

Posey offered final rebuttal to the jury saying it’s true to say there are lives on the line during police encounters, but he added: “It’s not only police lives that matter. All lives matter.”

The new jury deliberated in private for over an over hour late Friday after hearing three days of testimony. It would resume its deliberations Monday after once again watching the video of Parker taking Patel to the ground.

(IANS)

Next Story

Judge declares mistrial in US cop assault on Indian grandfather

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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