State agency to open investigation of Madison incident

Published: Feb. 17, 2015 at 8:26 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2015 at 9:33 PM CST
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MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has instructed the state's law enforcement agency to begin an investigation parallel to that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation into an excessive force case against a Madison police officer.

In a letter written to Ajit Kumar, Consul General of India, Bentley says he has instructed the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to run an investigation in addition to the one already opened by the FBI.

"I deeply regret the unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison Police Department on Sureshbhai Patel and for the injuries sustained by Mr. Patel," Bentley writes. "Please accept our sincere apology for this tragic incident to your government, Mr. Patel, and the citizens of India who reside and work in our state."

Read the letter in full (PDF)

The governor's remarks are in reference to an incident in which Indian native Sureshbhai Patel being thrown to the ground during a call on Hardiman Place Lane Feb. 6. Patel was visiting relatives in Madison at the time.

Read more about the case.

Madison police officer Eric Parker was arrested following the incident. Parker has since entered a not-guilty plea to charges of assault.

His bench trial is set for April 29.

Patel's attorney says the 57-year-old faces a long, uncertain recovery. Hank Sherrod said Patel was transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility Monday.

Madison Mayor Troy Trulock said he has no objections to the state's investigation, adding he wants to be as transparent as possible during the process.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.