An Alabama cop was arrested Thursday after leaving a 57-year-man partiality paralyzed for walking down a public sidewalk through a residential neighborhood.
The man was from India, visiting his son who lived in Madison, a city in Northern Alabama.
Madison police say they received a call of a suspicious “skinny black man” walking through the neighborhood looking into houses.
And when they pulled up to talk to him, he couldn’t understand English very well.
Then he placed his hands in his pocket, making them fear for their lives, before he tried to walk away.
So naturally, they had to sweep his feet from under him, knocking him down to the ground, leaving him partially paralyzed.
Sureshbhai Patel is now hospitalized with a neck brace. And Madison police officer Eric Parker is facing assault charges.
He turned himself in on Thursday.
The incident was captured on two dash cam videos, which can be seen below.
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According to ABC News:
Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey said Officer Eric Parker was not justified when he stopped and then threw 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel — who had traveled to Madison to visit his son only a week before the incident and speaks no English — on Feb. 6.
“I found that Officer Eric Parker’s actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department,” Muncey said.
Parker turned himself into police Thursday and was charged with third-degree assault. Muncey also recommended in proposed disciplinary action that he be fired. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting its own inquiry to see if there were any violations of federal law, Muncey said.
Madison police on Thursday released two dashcam videos of the incident and audio of the 911 call that led to the officers confronting Patel in the first place.
In a 911 call to police that day, the caller identifies Patel as “a skinny black guy” he had never seen before walking around the neighborhood. The caller also said that he was following Patel from a distance, and that he was afraid to leave for work and leave his wife alone at home.
Patel, who’d arrived in Alabama a week earlier from Pij, India, was staying with his son, Chirag Patel, and daughter-in-law who lived in the neighborhood, and had come to help care for their 17-month-old toddler while the younger Patel worked and attended graduate school at the University of Alabama.
The videos show Patel pointing in the direction of his son’s home, then trying to walk that way, which is when the Parker kicked his feet from under him, slamming his body down to the ground.
At the time, Parker was with another officer whom he was training.
Patel remains hospitalized but his condition is now improving where he is able to lift his right leg and both arms, but his left leg remains paralyzed and he is unable to make a tight grip.
His son reported that his father never had health issues beforehand.
The family has filed a federal lawsuit and the FBI is also investigating.