Madison, Alabama, Police Officer Eric Parker is going back on active duty after being on administrative leave for taking down Sureshbhai Patel, who ended up partially paralyzed, on Feb. 6, 2015 (video below).
The incident, which was recorded by a police dash cam, began when someone called the police with a complaint of a "skinny black guy" walking around the neighborhood, noted NBC News.
There is no audio during the takedown, but the sound comes on as another cop arrives on the scene.
One of the officers tells the arriving cop that Patel doesn't speak a "lick of English." Moments later, the same officer complains that Patel "won't listen," and then asks Patel in English if he has anything in his pockets.
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Parker was charged with a civil rights violation by the U.S. Attorney's Office, but both of Parker's trials in 2015 ended in hung juries.
Judge Madeline Haikala chose to acquit Parker of the charges because she thought a third jury would also be hung; the State of Alabama also dropped its assault charge against Parker, notes the Alabama Media Group.
Madison Acting Police Chief Major Jim Cooke released a statement on the department's Facebook page Sept. 6:
Since Officer Parker’s acquittal of all federal charges and the dismissal by the Attorney General of the misdemeanor charges against him, I have extensively reviewed all of the documentation regarding the case, and I have made the factual determination that Officer Parker’s actions in February 2015 did not amount to a policy violation. This decision was based on the review of all departmental and court documentation.
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I realize that some will question my decision. I cannot share the internal documentation that led me to this conclusion, but I strongly encourage you to read the Memorandum Opinion issued by Federal Judge Madeline H. Haikala after Officer Parker’s second federal trial, wherein she wrote, "[T]he evidence demonstrates that Officer Parker complied with MPD policy regarding preliminary investigations of suspicious individuals and MPD’s ‘Response to Resistance’ policy … Officer Parker made a split-second decision in a rapidly evolving situation rather than a premeditated decision to use violent force."
Ironically, Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey, who testified that Parker did violate policy and recommended his firing, is on administrative leave because he reportedly communicated with police witnesses during Parker's first federal trial.
Parker's takedown of Patel created an international incident that caused Republican Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama to issue an apology for Parker's actions to the Indian government:
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. I sincerely hope that Mr. Patel continues to improve and that he will regain full use of his legs. Finally, and most important, 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.