The Latest: Prosecutors have called final witnesses in trial

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Posted: Sep 03, 2015 6:10 PM
The Latest: Prosecutors have called final witnesses in trial

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (AP) — The latest on the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force against an Indian man (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

Jurors have been dismissed for the day in the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force against and Indian grandfather.

Testimony in the trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker is set to continue Friday in Huntsville.

Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel to the ground during a stop in February and said he defied orders and reached for his pockets.

Patel said through an interpreter that he doesn't understand English and didn't understand the officer's orders.

Prosecutors called their final witnesses on Thursday and Parker's defense attorney Robert Tuten has said he plans on having Parker take the stand.

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2:15 p.m.

The attorney for an Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force against an Indian grandfather during a stop began questioning by calling the man's son to the stand.

Madison police officer Eric Parker is accused of violating 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel's civil rights. Attorney Robert Tuten called Chirag Patel to the stand Thursday and asked if he was aware it was a federal offense for his father to not carry his green card at all times.

Patel said he was aware of that, but didn't think he needed one to walk to the end of the block.

Parker slammed Patel to the ground and said he resisted officers. Patel has denied the claims.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have acknowledged a language barrier contributed to the way the encounter was handled.

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12:30 p.m.

Prosecutors have called their last witnesses in the federal trial of an Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force against and Indian grandfather.

Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker, who is accused of violating 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel's civil rights during a stop in February.

Parker was recorded slamming Patel to the ground and said he resisted officers. Patel testified through an interpreter to deny the claim and said he doesn't speak English.

Dispatcher Angela Sharp said Thursday that she helped Parker after the encounter with Patel by searching for recent nearby incidents to help Parker explain the context of the stop in his paperwork.

Police Capt. John Stringer became the second of Parker's colleagues to say he thought the takedown was unnecessary.

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11:20 a.m.

The neurosurgeon who treated an Indian grandfather who was slammed to the ground by an Alabama police officer said the man suffered spinal trauma and had a vertebrae removed after the encounter.

Testimony in the federal trial of Madison Police Officer Eric Parker continued Thursday in Huntsville. Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-RESH'-beye pah-TEL') on Feb. 6.

Parker has said he slammed Patel to the ground after he defied orders and reached toward his pockets. Patel denied those claims through an interpreter on Wednesday and said he doesn't understand English.

Neurosurgeon Cheng Tao says Patel suffered bleeding, bruising and swelling in soft tissue surrounding his spine after he was slammed down. Tao says he removed a vertebra to make more room for Patel's spinal cord.

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6:15 a.m.

Additional witness testimony is expected in the federal trial of an Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force during a stop that left an Indian man seriously injured.

Madison police officer Eric Sloan Parker's trial is scheduled to continue Thursday morning in Huntsville.

Police investigating a call about a suspicious person in February encountered Sureshbhai Patel (suh-RESH'-beye pah-TEL') and eventually slammed the man to the ground face first. Parker has said Patel resisted officers and put his hands in his pockets.

Patel denied that Wednesday through an interpreter, saying he speaks very little English and couldn't understand what officers were saying when they stopped him.

Parker's colleague, Officer Charles Spence, said the maneuver used to take Patel down was unnecessary and Patel didn't appear to pose a threat.