An American police officer, who brutally assaulted an Indian grandfather and left him partially paralysed, is no longer facing state criminal charges in Alabama, a case that had sparked outrage among the Indian community in the US, forcing the Governor to apologise.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the state no longer wishes to pursue a criminal case against Madison police officer Eric Parker in Limestone County Circuit Court.
“After a careful review of the witness testimony included in 2,000 pages of federal trial transcripts and a re-evaluation of the evidence, we are seeking to dismiss State charges against Parker,” Strange said in a release today.
Parker, 27, is accused of assaulting 58-year-old Indian grandfather who was taking a stroll around his son’s home when he was brutally assaulted by him in February last year.
He was fired six days later and police arrested him for misdemeanor assault.
Parker was cleared of federal civil rights charges in January, after two mistrials.
Following the back-to-back mistrials, US District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala in January granted a motion to acquit, saying there would not be a third federal trial.
With the federal case concluded, Parker had been scheduled to face a bench trial in district court in Limestone County starting on June 7.
That was for the misdemeanor assault charge, which carries up to a year in jail.
Strange today filed the motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charge.
“Without a doubt this is an unfortunate case and we agree with US District Judge Madeline Haikala that ‘The result in this case is by no means satisfying. Hindsight brings clarity to a calamity...,” wrote Strange.
“After a review of the federal trial testimony, it does not appear that there would be sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, we have a duty to move to dismiss the charge,” he added.
Newly-appointed District Judge Douglas “Doug” Lee Patterson, who had said he was ready to move forward with the trial since it is a misdemeanour and there was no need to prolong the case, approved the request to drop the charge.
“The State of Alabama having filed a motion to dismiss this action and the Court having considered the same it is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that this case is dismissed,” he ruled.
The former Alabama police officer also faces a lawsuit filed against him by Sureshbhai Patel.
The assault had sparked outrage in the Indian community and India had raised the issue with the US, demanding expeditious investigation into the matter.
The Governor of the US state of Alabama had apologised for the brutal police assault on Patel.