HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Jurors began deliberations Friday following the second trial of an Alabama police officer charged with violating the rights of an Indian man he threw to the ground while trying to detain him.
Jurors deliberated for more than an hour in the late afternoon, and asked to again watch the video of Madison police officer Erick Parker taking Sureshbhai Patel, 58, to the ground, according to Al.com (http://bit.ly/1M6HPBG). They are scheduled to see the video when they reconvene Monday morning.
Parker testified Friday that the actions and appearance of Patel were "in sequence" with those of a burglar. He told jurors it made "my alerts go up" when Patel walked away and wouldn't answer questions.
Parker said he grew concerned when Patel reached for his pockets and when he pulled his hand free during a pat-down.
"It concerned me that he was going for that weapon I presumed he had," Parker said.
Patel wasn't armed and suffered a spinal injury when he was thrown down face-first on a lawn. Parker said he lost his balance and fell on top of the man.
The defense rested Friday after the officer's testimony.
Patel had been in the United States only a few days at the time of the encounter in February, which happened as Parker and another officer were checking a citizen's report of a suspicious person in a suburban neighborhood near Huntsville.
Patel, testifying through an interpreter, said he doesn't speak English and that when the officers spoke to him, he was trying to show them the home of his son, where he was staying at the time.
This is Parker's second trial; his first one ended in a hung jury last month.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has apologized to the Indian government for Patel's treatment, calling it a case of excessive force.
The city of Madison has fired Parker, who also faces a state assault charge and is being sued for monetary damages by Patel.