Indian man wrongfully stopped, searched and manhandled by police officers in Alabama in an encounter that left him partly paralysed sued local authorities and the police on Thursday.
The victim “suffered physical and emotional injuries and damages and has been caused to incur medical bills and other expenses”, said a suit file by lawyer Henry Sherrod.
Sureshbhai Patel, 57, is recovering in a hospital. The suit said he had regained use of his arm and right leg, but the left leg remained “entirely or mostly” paralysed.
The suit demands a jury trial and compensation of an unspecified amount.
Two police officer, who remain unidentified, had stopped Patel during his morning walk on February 6 patted him for weapons and held him to the ground, face down.
Patel’s “face was bloodied, but, much worse, there was significant trauma to Patel’s cervical spine, and he immediately became paralysed in his arms and legs”.
Madison City, where Patel was staying with his son, has said the police were investigating a call from the neigbourhood about a man moving about in a suspicious manner.
Patel told the officers he didn’t speak English, he is Indian and was “walking” and gave them his son’s address, point down the street, according to the lawsuit.
They stopped and searched him and slammed him to the ground.
Patel has begun physical therapy but the suit said “the rehabilitation process is expected to be lengthy and difficult, and it is not known whether Patel will make a full recovery”.
The suit alleges officers held and searched Patel illegally and used excessive force.