Court appearance set for Madison officer charged with assault

Court appearance set for Madison officer charged with assault

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - There were new developments made Friday afternoon in a case of excessive force by a Madison police officer.

A court appearance has been set for Eric Parker for March 12.

A southeast Asian empowerment group condemned the use of force after seeing dash camera footage of an officer slamming down a 58-year-old man visiting from India.

The video of the incident has made its way to India. Representatives from India's consulate were at the news conference yesterday and said they were extremely disappointed. 

The Asha Kiran group, a southeast Asia empowerment group, said before this even happened they had a talked with Madison City Police about teaching officers sensitivity training. The training session is set for Feb. 24. 

The group said there wasn't an incident before the one with Patel to prompt this, but these recent events show how important cultural awareness is. 

Captain Stringer from the Madison City Police Department said he couldn't answer any questions about the case or even questions about police officers training. Ashakiren said no matter who you are, the dash cam video should upset you.

"Regardless of what organization you're with and what your background culturally is, it's kinda been the same theme, I think everyone is in shock," said Pranteek Patnik with the Asha Kiran. "That video that was released is pretty powerful and myself and everyone I've talked to friends and colleagues all been blown away by it and really in disbelief."

Viewers wanted to know if Parker could he get hired on as a police officer with another department.

The Fraternal Order of Police said it will all depend on how this plays out in the court.

A conviction, even a third degree assault conviction, would make it very difficult to work for another department.

WAFF looked into the history of Officer Eric Parker.

Last summer, he fired his weapon during an attempted robbery while he was off duty. It happened at a pool hall in Huntsville.

He fired two shots at the would-be robber, but nobody was hit.

Huntsville Police handled the investigation.

During that investigation, Parker received two Meritorious Awards with Madison Police, one for attempting to save a 5-month-old by performing CPR, and a second for helping an elderly man escape a burning house.

There was nothing found during a statewide and federal background check on Parker.

Parker's neighbors said he's a nice man and they're shocked he's involved in something like this.

Also, Madison City Mayor Troy Trulock said he's proud of the citizens, community, and quality of life in Madison. He also said in 2014, there were 2,000 incidents involving police, and out of those, there were only five where police had to use any kind of force.

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