Retrial of police officer who beat Indian grandfather begins

Washington: The retrial of a US police officer accused of violently assaulting a 58-year-old Indian grandfather that left him partially paralysed began today in a federal court in Alabama.

Eric Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of Sureshbhai Patel following an encounter in a Madison neighbourhood off County Line Road on February 6.

South Asian rights group hoped that Patel would be able to get justice this time.

A deadlocked jury failed to convict Parker last month during the first federal trial on a civil rights charge brought against him by the US Department of Justice.

“It is our hope that today’s retrial is heard before a jury that truly represents the population of Madison, AL where one in ten residents speaks a language other than English at home,” South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) said.

SAALT joined National Coalition of South Asian Organisations (NCSO) member and Huntsville, and community- based organisation, AshaKiran, in demanding justice for Patel.

SAALT said last month’s trial focused on whether the force used by Parker was unreasonable and whether Parker’s actions were willful. Both elements are required for a guilty verdict under the federal statute.