WASHINGTON -- An Indian grandfather in the US who was violently assaulted by a policeman leaving him partially paralysed, did not pose any threat, two fellow officers testified during a retrial of the cop charged with use of excessive force.
Madison Police Officer Charles Spence testified that 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel presented no threat to police.
"To me, he appeared to be in his 70s," said Spence.
The second officer Clint Harrell testified "there was no criminal conduct to document" by Patel and that no reasonable suspicion existed to lay hands on Patel.
"Even if they are accused of something, you still treat them right," Harrell was quoted as saying by al.com.
The retrial of police officer Eric Parker, accused of violently assaulting Patel that left him partially paralysed, began this week in a federal court in Alabama.
Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of Patel following an encounter in a Madison neighbourhood off County Line Road on February 6.
Patel, who was visiting his son in Alabama to meet his newly born grandson, was slammed to ground and left paralysed in 101 seconds after encountering the police early this year despite him pleading as many as five times that he knows no English, federal prosecutors said.
During the retrial in Alabama, Assistant US Attorney Robert Posey told the jury that the grandfather told the police officer "no English" five times.
Patel said "India" three times and pointed to his son's home and kept trying to walk officers toward the home, Posey told the federal jury.
Patel made no sudden movements, the attorney said.
Presenting a strong case, Posey sought 10 years imprisonment for Parker for using excessive force in the leg sweep takedown that left Patel in need of spinal surgery.
However, appearing on behalf of Parker, defence attorney Robert Tuten told the jury that the escalation of force was largely the fault of Patel.
"When you come to the US. We expect you to follow our laws and speak our language. Mr Patel bears as much responsibility for this as anyone," he said.
Claiming that Patel understands the word "stop", Tuten alleged that despite this he walked two steps, then seven steps and then nine more steps as police attempted to question him.
Thereafter, Patel reached for his pockets, which could have contained a weapon, he said.
But Spence contended that: "You can't expect a subject to stop putting his hands in his pockets if he can't understand the command to stop putting his hands in his pocket."
Parker's retrial has 14 members in the jury, of which 11 are women and three men. Patel was on a walk when the incident happened.
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