02:11 GMT +324 January 2020
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    The trial of Officer Eric Sloan Parker, 26, charged with civil rights violations relating to a videoed assault on an innocent grandfather, began this week.

    In the dashcam footage of the February 6 incident, Parker can be seen assaulting Sureshbhai Patel, 57, who was out for a morning stroll.

    Patel is an Indian citizen who had come to the US to help his son and daughter-in-law with their young child, as his son went back to school for his master’s degree.  

    The grandfather was taking a morning walk on February 6, when a bigoted neighbor called the police for seemingly no reason.  The neighbor described Patel as, “a skinny black guy, he’s got a toboggan on, he’s really skinny.”

    When police arrived and Patel could not understand their commands or questions, Officer Parker threw him face first onto the ground while holding his hands behind his back.  

    Patel was left temporarily paralyzed and hospitalized for several weeks. He had to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord and had vertebrae fused.

    He is not expected to fully recover and now requires assistance to walk.

    The Madison Police Department apologized to Patel for the officer’s actions, arrested Parker, and recommended his termination.  

    He is also on trial in state court for misdemeanor assault, although that case has been put on hold pending the outcome of the federal trial.

    Parker is facing a single charge of depriving Patel of his rights in the federal proceedings after a grand jury indictment in March.

    Patel is expected to testify with the aid of a translator.


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