A 2015 video of a former Alabama police officer throwing an Indian grandfather to the ground and partially paralyzing him resurfaced on Reddit on Wednesday. Commenters called the officer “absolute trash” and “awful.”
Sureshbhai Patel, who was 57 at the time of the incident, was walking in a Madison neighborhood in 2015 when two police officers approached him, and one slammed him to the ground. The resurfaced dash camera video shows the officers holding Patel down on the concrete. One of them says, "He don't speak a lick of English."
"I don't know where he's from, man, but he won't listen," one of them says. The officers continue to hold him and attempt to ask him questions before calling a medic for Patel's "bloody nose."
The officers lift Patel off the ground, and his legs appear to not move. One of the officers says, "You can walk." They ask him if he can walk and if he knows English, and Patel appears to not respond. Patel told his son later that he repeated, “No English, India" and his home address, per the Guardian.
The officer who slammed Patel on the ground, Eric Parker, was initially placed on administrative leave before getting reinstated in 2016, NBC News reports. The Madison City Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot's request for comment regarding Parker's current job status.
Patel, who lived on a farm in India, was visiting his son to help him with his prematurely born grandson at the time, the Guardian reports. Patel sustained multiple injuries from the incident and was left partially paralyzed due to trauma on his cervical spine.
According to AL News, two hung juries could not come to a conclusion on Patel's case, which led to Parker's acquittal. However, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May 2020 that there is enough evidence for Patel's case to proceed. The court ruled that the "jury could reasonably conclude Parker violated Patel’s civil rights by using unnecessary force," per AL News.
“Here, when we credit Patel’s side of the story, no reasonable officer could have thought that sweeping Patel’s legs out from under him and throwing him to the ground headfirst was a reasonable use of force,” the Eleventh Circuit Judges wrote in an opinion issued in May, per AL News.
The video's recirculation on Reddit ignited more commentary on the state of police brutality in the U.S.
One commenter wrote, "Yet another prime example of why we say ACAB," referring to the acronym for the rally cry "all cops are bastards." "The system is infiltrated with that scum so what do you expect?" another commenter said.
Outrage regarding excessive use of force by police officers has become a concern among activist groups and citizens across the U.S. who have spent years demanding the re-evaluation of police policies. According to USA Today, cities and states across the country took steps to address these concerns last year by banning chokeholds and making pledges to defund police.