WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Get 2 limited-edition podcast mugs when you make a sustaining gift of $8 or more per month today!

Alabama Police Officer Accused Of Injuring Indian Man Is Indicted

Sureshbhai Patel lies in a bed at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Ala., on Feb. 7. Patel was severely injured when police threw him to the ground.
Chirag Patel
/
AP
Sureshbhai Patel lies in a bed at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Ala., on Feb. 7. Patel was severely injured when police threw him to the ground.

An Alabama police officer has been indicted on one charge of using unreasonable force against an Indian man in February.

A federal grand jury decided there was enough evidence to bring charges against Officer Eric Parker.

"Parker's actions deprived the man in Madison of his right under the U.S. Constitution to be secure from unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable force by someone acting under color of law," the Justice Department said in a press release.

A video showed Parker arresting Sureshbhai Patel, 57, and then, suddenly, slamming him into the ground. As we reported:

"Patel had recently come from India to help care for his infant grandson; he was stopped by police on the morning of Feb. 6, after a neighbor called to report what they saw as a suspicious figure. When police approached Patel, who speaks little English, he was unable to answer their questions about what he was doing in the area."

Patel suffered severe injuries. The incident led to international outcry and culminated with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley apologizing to the government of India.

"Please accept our sincere apology to your government, Mr. Patel and the citizens of India who reside and work in our state," the governor wrote.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.