Officer Eric Parker was arrested in Madison, Alabama Thursday after dash cam footage from a patrol car showed him throwing 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel to the ground last Friday. Patel’s family said the incident left him partially paralyzed and in need of spinal fusion surgery.
Patel, an Indian citizen, was out for a morning walk when the incident occurred. “He was just walking on the sidewalk as he does all the time,” Patel’s son said earlier this week. “They put him to the ground.”
Madison police released a statement on Monday acknowledging that Patel had not committed a crime. Police said Officer Parker had responded to a call of a “suspicious person” in the neighborhood, and used force when Patel resisted a weapons search. Patel does not speak much English, and police indicated there may have been a “language barrier.”
An officer can be heard in the video saying, “You’re all right, you can walk. Stand up.”
Parker turned himself into authorities this week and was charged with third-degree assault, not a felony.
Patel, whose family said he had come to America to help his son care for his newborn, is recovering, but still does not have use of several of his limbs. His family is totally suing the Madison Police Department.
Watch the footage below, via the Madison Police Department: