The Latest: Trial of Alabama police officer resumes Tuesday

AP News
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Posted: Sep 04, 2015 3:41 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The latest in the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of slamming an Indian man to the ground (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

The federal trial of an Alabama police officer recorded slamming an Indian grandfather to the ground is set to resume Tuesday morning.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala dismissed jurors hearing the case of Madison police officer Eric Parker for the day Friday afternoon after defense attorney Robert Tuten said he finished calling witnesses for the day.

Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') to the ground in February, saying he defied orders and reached for his pockets while he responded to a call of a suspicious person. Patel has denied that through an interpreter.

Several of Parker's colleagues testified and said the maneuver Parker used to take Patel to the ground was not part of department training. Some have said the move appeared unnecessary.

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Noon

Several Alabama police officers who trained a colleague accused of using excessive force on an Indian grandfather have taken the witness stand for the defense during his federal trial.

Madison police officer Eric Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') to the ground in February, saying he defied orders and reached for his pockets while he responded to a call of a suspicious person. Patel has denied that through an interpreter.

During questioning by defense attorney Robert Tuten, Sgt. Nicholas McRae said he saw nothing contrary to department training in video of the encounter. During cross-examination, McRae said the takedown was improper because use of force should be proportional to the perceived threat.

Officer Jamie Emerson also trained Parker and said he disagreed with Chief Larry Muncey's evaluation of how Parker handled the encounter.

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11:15 a.m.

An Alabama police officer who trained a colleague accused of using excessive force on an Indian grandfather said he never taught the officer the takedown that was used to subdue the man.

Madison police officer Russell Owens testified for the defense Friday morning in the trial of Eric Parker.

Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') to the ground in February, saying he defied orders and reached for his pockets as police were investigating a suspicious person call. Patel has denied that and said through an interpreter that he doesn't speak English.

Owens says the department trains officers to take suspects down when they're resisting, but the maneuver Parker used that led to Patel hitting the ground face first was not consistent with department policy.

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11 a.m.

The martial arts expert who created the self-defense training program used by Alabama law enforcement officers has taken the stand in the trial of an officer who slammed an Indian grandfather to the ground.

The federal trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker continued Friday morning with the defense calling Johnny Smith, creator of the Strategic Self-Defense and Grappling Tactics program, to the stand.

Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') to the ground in February, saying he defied orders and reached for his pockets. Patel has denied that and said through an interpreter that he doesn't speak English. Officers were investigating a suspicious person call.

Smith says Parker received one of two required levels of training, and the takedown is not part of his training program.