Indian government official speaks with Madison mayor, community
MADISON, AL (WAFF) - A Madison police officer and the Indian grandfather he is accused of using excessive force against are getting international attention.
It's all over a video of the takedown of Indian native Sureshbhai Patel that led to an assault charge against officer Eric Parker.
Madison's police chief is recommending Parker be fired.
The Indian government took notice of the story, and sent their consul general to speak with Madison's mayor.
CG Ajit Kumar also held a meeting with local Indian community leaders.
"We cannot guarantee anything like this will not happen again," said Anupreet Singh, president of the Huntsville India Association, "but we need to do our best. We cannot just sit back."
It was an open dialogue where community members discussed ideas they said would help prevent future incidents.
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At this meeting, attendees discussed the need for increased police training. Specifically, a focus on multicultural training was suggested to further educate officers on different cultural customs.
Discussion also included the need for an on-call translator to eliminate any language barrier. They want to be proactive in their community as well. Ideas were brought up about creating flyers for overseas relatives, unfamiliar with how to handle themselves around American police.
"(We) got together here to take stock of the situation and to see what's best and what steps we can take to improve the situation so that such incidents, such brutal incidents do not reoccur," Kumar said.
Kumar added that he hopes the actions of one are not representative of the country as a whole, and that a better understanding of the cultural values of Indian people is a step towards healing.
"We hope such incidents do not happen in friendly countries like the United States, where we share the same democratic values and live in a pluralistic society, so let's hope that justice will be done in the end," said Kumar.
Many attendees of Saturday's dialogue will take a meeting with Madion's police chief Monday.
They plan to discuss some of these ideas with him.
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