NEW DELHI: Even as the Alabama Governor admitted that police had used “excessive force” against Indian national Sureshbhai Patel, the accused local police officer has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges filed against him.
Official sources said that Governor Robert Bentley had on Tuesday written to the Indian Consul General in Atlanta, Ajit Kumar, acknowledging the “deep concern” of the “the Government of India and citizens of India who live in Alabama”.
“I deeply regret the unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison Police Department on Sureshbhai Patel and for the injuries sustained by Mr Patel. I sincerely hope that Mr Patel continues to improve and that he will regain the full use of his legs,” wrote Bentley.
Ajit met Bentley on Monday to convey India’s concern over the matter. The Governor assured the Indian diplomat that “he will see that justice is done arising from the use of excessive force under the colour of state law upon a citizen of India”.
Bentley has already instructed the director of the State of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to start a parallel investigation to the one being conducted by the FBI.
Meanwhile, the Madison police officer, who was sacked over the assault, pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges filed against him. Eric Sloan Parker, 26, surrendered to Limestone County Jail on February 12 and was granted bail. A camera on the police car’s dashboard had recorded him slamming Patel to a concrete sidewalk. The criminal complaint against Parker is for “recklessly caused physical injury” to Patel by slamming him to the ground.