DOJ indicts Madison police officer for use of unreasonable force - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

DOJ indicts Madison police officer for use of unreasonable force

Eric Parker (Source: Limestone Co. Sheriff's Office) Eric Parker (Source: Limestone Co. Sheriff's Office)
A still from the dashcam video. (Source: Madison City Police Department) A still from the dashcam video. (Source: Madison City Police Department)
U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance announced the indictments on Friday. (Source: WAFF staff) U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance announced the indictments on Friday. (Source: WAFF staff)
(WAFF) -

The Department of Justice announced the indictment of a Madison police officer on Friday for using unreasonable force against a man he was attempting to question in February.

The one-count felony indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges that Eric Sloan Parker, 26, a Toney resident, slammed a man to the ground, injuring him.

"Police officers are sworn to uphold the law and protect the public. The public must be able to trust police," said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. "Law enforcement officers who violate their oath to protect and use excessive force must be brought to justice."

According to the indictment, Parker's actions deprived the victim of his right under the U.S. Constitution to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizure, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable force from law enforcement officers. 

The FBI investigated the case.

Parker was arrested for assault in February following the incident.

Police released the audio of the 911 call as well as the dash cam video of the incident. The dashcam video showed Sureshbhai Patel being thrown to the ground.

The caller said a skinny black man in his 30s had been looking in windows. When police got to the scene, they found Patel, an Indian man in his late 50s.

In the video, officers are heard asking Patel where he lives and where he's going. It appears in the video Patel already has his hands cuffed behind his back when officer Eric Parker body slams Patel into the ground.

Officers then tell Patel to stand up. He can be seen struggling and is unable to do so. 

Madison City Chief of Police Larry Muncy said he and the entire department are sorry.

Muncey said the actions of Parker "did not meet the high standards of the Madison Police Department." He then proposed termination and said the officer turned himself in to the Limestone County Sheriff's Office and was arrested for assault.

"I sincerely apologize to Mr. Patel, Mr. Patel's family, and our community," said Muncey. "We strive to exceed expectations."

Patel filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Madison Police Department following the incident. Patel says he arrived in the United States days before the encounter to help his son and daughter-in-law care for their 17-month-old son.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly