No verdict so far in in Alabama police officer’s trial
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Jurors deciding whether an Alabama police officer used excessive force when he threw down a grandfather from India deliberated a second day Monday without reaching a verdict.
The panel adjourned after a day of talks that included watching a police video of the encounter between then Madison police officer Eric Parker and Sureshbhai Patel, 58, in a suburban neighborhood.
U.S. District Madeline Haikala, who declared a mistrial in Parker’s first trial in September after jurors deadlocked, told the jury in the retrial to return for more deliberations Tuesday.
Jurors began deliberations Friday but took the weekend off.
Federal prosecutors allege that the 27-year-old officer violated Patel’s civil rights by using excessive force when he knocked the man down in a bedroom community of Huntsville in February.
Parker testified that Patel tried to pull away from him, saying that indicated he may have been up to no good. But Patel testified through a translator that he doesn’t speak English and didn’t understand instructions from officers who were investigating a report of a suspicious person.
Patel, who had only been in the U.S. a few days, suffered what a doctor described during testimony as a spinal injury. He used a walker to enter the courtroom to testify against Parker.
The city of Madison has fired Parker, who also faces a state assault charge and is being sued by Patel, who is staying with his son’s family in the United States.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has apologized to the Indian government for Patel’s treatment, calling it a case of excessive force.