Madison police officer arrested for assault in paralyzed grandfather case

Published: Feb. 12, 2015 at 8:24 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2015 at 3:48 AM CST
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Dash cam video
Dash cam video

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - A Madison City police officer was arrested after an Indian grandfather was partially paralyzed following a use of force case on Friday.

The Madison City Police Department held a news conference on Thursday on the incident.

Police released the audio of the 911 call as well as the dash cam video of the incident. The dash cam video showed Sureshbhai Patel being thrown to the ground.

The caller said a skinny black man in his 30's had been looking in windows. When police got to the scene, they found Patel, an Indian man in his late 60s.

Officers are heard asking Patel where he lives and where he's going. It appears in the video Patel already has his hands cuffed behind his back when officer Eric Parker body slams Patel into the ground.

Officers then tell Patel to stand up. You see him struggling and he's unable to do so. Madison City Chief of Police Larry Muncy said he and the entire department are sorry.

Muncey said the actions of Parker "did not meet the high standards of the Madison Police Department." He then proposed termination and said the officer turned himself in to the Limestone County Sheriff's Office and was arrested for assault. It is not yet known if he is out on bond.

"I sincerely apologize to Mr. Patel, Mr. Patel's family, and our community," said Muncey. "We strive to exceed expectations."

Patel filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Madison Police Department following Friday's incident.

The lawsuit accuses two officers of illegal seizure, unlawful search, excessive force, and false imprisonment. The filing said Patel was violently assaulted by one of the officers.

According to the lawsuit, Patel took his normal walk route on Hardiman Place Lane. The lawsuit states he was wearing plain pants, a button down shirt, sweater, and knit cap.

Madison Police say they received a call about a suspicious man looking in garages. Both parties agree the officers approached Patel and asked him to stop. The lawsuit states Patel told the officers "no English," "Indian," "walking."

Patel says one of the officers grabbed his arm, twisted it behind his back, and slammed his face into the ground.

The lawsuit also said this caused significant damage to Patel's spine, and that he became immediately paralyzed. He has since regained arm movement and some use of his right leg.

Patel says arrived in the U.S. days before the encounter to help his son and daughter-in-law care for their 17-month-old son.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Patel. Click here to see it.

Officials said the FBI is involved in the review of this case and will be checking to see if any federal violations occurred during the incident.

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