Alabama police fire, arrest the officer who badly injured Indian grandfather during sidewalk stop

Video shows Alabama police throwing grandfather from India to the ground
Watch dashboard camera footage of Madison police officer throw Sureshbhai Patel the ground paralyzing him.

Eric Parker, a Madison police officer, turned himself in and will face assault charges. There were severe injuries suffered by an Indian citizen who was walking down the street outside his son’s new home.

Larry Muncey, Chief of Police, informed a Madison press conference that he was recommending Parker be fired for the use of force. The man had committed no crime. Nor did the man even speak English, hence he could not understand the officer’s commands.

Muncey said “I found that Officer Eric Parker’s actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department.”

Along with Indian Consul Anil Kumar, five members of the local Indian community sat in the front row. They watched video from the patrol cars. The also listened to the call, which was non-emergency, which led to the confrontation turned violent.

Call to police about Indian grandfather in Madison

“He was doing it yesterday and today…He’s just on foot. He’s just kind of walking around close to the garage.” This was the Friday morning call regarding an individual walking on the streets near his house.

The operator asks what the man looks like. “He’s a skinny black guy, he’s got a toboggan on, he’s really skinny.”

He adds: “I’ve lived here four years and I’ve never seen him before.”

It was only a week earlier that Sureshbhai Patel had arrived in the United States. He was here to help care his grandson. His son, Chirag Patel, an engineer who recently bought a home in Madison, said that Patel took a walk each morning.

Eric Parker (Limestone County Jail)


“I’m just kind of following from a distance now,” the caller said. He also stated he was on his way to work, but was afraid to leave his wife alone with a man walking outside.

Two officers are shown on footage from the dashboard camera. Field trainer Parker, and trainee Andrew Slaughter. They approach the man right after 8 a.m. on a Friday. We hear a clip of the interaction as the man stops, turns and steps toward them.

Madison Mayor Troy Trulock shakes hands with Indian Consul Anil Kumar before the press conference Thursday. Kumar watched, but did not comment.

“What’s going on sir?”

“You what?”


“Where you heading?”


“I can’t understand you, sir.”

“Where’s your address?”

“Do you have any ID?”


“Do you live here.”

“Sir, sir, come here.”

“Do not jerk away from me again, or I will put you on the ground. Do you understand?”

Patel is turned around with his hands behind his back. Another patrol car pulls up and Parker yanks his arm and slams him onto the ground. This resulted in cervical fusion as he wasn’t able to use his hands to break his fall. He remains in Huntsville Hospital suffering from limited mobility in his limbs. One leg was unable to be moved at all according to his son.

The officers then try to get the man to stand. Then concern slowly but surely sets in.

“He don’t speak a lick of English.”

“I tried to pat him down but he tried to walk away from me.”

“I don’t know what his problem is but he won’t listen.”

“He was trying to walk away.”

“Did you bite your lip?”

“He OK?”

Parker turned himself in to Limestone County according to Chief Muncey. Third degree assault charges are what he will face. Muncey then apologized to Patel, his family and all of Madison. “Our desire is to exceed everyone’s expectations.”

Sureshbhai Patel at Huntsville Hospital

Parker was then released on a $1,000 bond.

Muncey said the FBI is conducting a “parallel inquiry to ascertain if there were any federal violations.”

Attorney Hank Sherrod filed suit in federal court. The argument is that police used excessive force, when there was no cause to stop Patel on a public sidewalk, nor any reason to search him.

Sherrod called for dismissal of the officer and welcomed the news that indeed the officer was let go. However, Sherrod said that it was wrong for Madison to release a statement saying that Patel had been looking into garages, or that he was in any way responsible for what had happened.

[Click here for the initial story with details on Sureshbhai Patel, his family and his injuries]

“They didn’t do that on Monday,” said Sherrod. “On Monday they were trying to blame Mr. Patel. On Monday they were minimizing this. I’m glad they apparently are starting to do the right thing. But why weren’t they doing this on Monday? With those videos.”

Choosing to remain anonymous, members of the local Hindu community stated that they are known for non-violence. “We don’t hurt nobody, that is our principle…we don’t hurt the snake.”


Madison Police Chief announces arrest of officer who threw Indian grandfather to the ground
Madison Police Department held a press conference Thursday afternoon, Feb. 12, regarding the recent incident with Sureshbhai Patel. (Sarah Cole/[email protected])

Entire video of Alabama police throwing Indian grandfather to the ground
Watch the build up to the incident in which Sureshbhai Patel was thrown to the ground and injured.

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