The U.S. Department of Justice charged Eric Parker, the Madison, Al., police officer who threw an Indian citizen to the ground on Feb. 6, with a civil rights violation, reports the Huntsville Times. Parker, 26, also faces trial in Limestone County for misdemeanor assault. Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey has recommended that Parker be fired. He is on administrative leave . Gov. Robert Bentley has written a letter apologizing to Patel and to India.
Parker attorney, Robert Tuten. said he was “a little bit surprised” that Parker was being charged by the U.S. Department of Justice while also facing a state charge of third degree assault. “He feels like he’s being whaled on from all sides,” said Tuten. The victim, Sureshbhai Patel, who does not speak English, was approached by police after being reported as a suspicious person. He had arrived in the U.S. about a week earlier. His son, Chirag Patel, is an engineer. Chirag Patel said his father had come from the Indian town of Pij to help care for his 17-month-old grandson. He said his father liked to take a walk in the morning.