The Latest: Judge declares mistrial in civil rights case

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Posted: Sep 11, 2015 5:17 PM
The Latest: Judge declares mistrial in civil rights case

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The latest in the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of violating the civil rights of an Indian man in February. All times are local.

4:15 p.m.

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of an Alabama police officer charged with violating an Indian man's civil rights and using unreasonable force as he slammed him to the ground.

U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Haikala declared a mistrial Friday in the trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker after jurors said three different times that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.

Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') down face first during a suspicious person investigation. Police tried questioning Patel but the man said he doesn't speak English. Parker has said he took Patel to the ground because he was resisting officers and reached toward his pockets.

Patel denied that through an interpreter.

Parker took the stand in his own defense and said he lost his balance while he was trying to take Patel to the ground and didn't mean to hurt him.

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2:45 p.m.

A judge has asked jurors to try "one last time" to reach a verdict in the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of violating an Indian man's civil rights.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala asked the jurors Friday to consider how important the case is, how expensive it has been financially and emotionally for everyone involved, and the possibility that it's not certain a retrial would result in a stronger prosecution or defense.

Jurors first reported that they were at an impasse in their deliberations in the trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker on Thursday. Haikala told them to try again, but they told her on two more occasions Friday that they were still at an impasse.

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12:30 p.m.

The jurors hearing the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of violating an Indian man's civil rights say they can't reach a decision in the case and have been ordered to continue deliberating.

Deliberations in the trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker began Wednesday night but started over Thursday morning when a juror was dismissed for travel issues. The jurors announced a stalemate Thursday afternoon and said again Friday that they were at an impasse.

Parker, his relatives and friends sitting behind him in court have appeared more relieved with every announcement of an impasse.

Parker slammed 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel to the ground during a suspicious person investigation, saying he defied orders and resisted officers. Patel has said through an interpreter that he doesn't speak English and didn't resist.

The judge told the jury to determine whether federal prosecutors have proved that the force used against Patel was unreasonable.

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10:15 a.m.

Deliberations have resumed in the trial of an Alabama police officer accused of violating an Indian grandfather's civil rights when he slammed him to the ground.

Jurors hearing the case of Madison police officer Eric Parker returned to U.S. District Court in Huntsville on Friday after telling the judge they reached a stalemate.

Parker has said 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') resisted and defied orders during a suspicious person investigation in February.

Patel denied that through an interpreter, saying he didn't understand Parker because he doesn't speak English. Patel was seriously injured when he was slammed down.

Deliberations began Wednesday night but started over Thursday after a juror was dismissed because of travel issues and replaced with an alternate. The panel said Thursday afternoon that it had reached a stalemate but was asked to continue re-evaluating evidence.

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4:15 a.m.

Jurors hearing the federal trial of an Alabama police officer who slammed an Indian grandfather to the ground have deadlocked, but will continue deliberating after a night's rest.

The jury has been asked to return to continue deliberations Friday morning in the trial of Madison police officer Eric Parker.

Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel (suh-REHSH'-by pah-TEL') during a suspicious person investigation in February.

Parker said Patel resisted and Patel denied that through an interpreter, saying he didn't understand Parker because he doesn't speak English. Patel was seriously injured when he was slammed down.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala asked the panel to return in the morning and re-evaluate evidence and testimony in the case.