HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — 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 announced the decision Friday in the trial of officer Eric Parker after jurors said three different times that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.
Federal prosecutors said they plan to re-try the officer.
Sureshbhai Patel, 58, had traveled from India and was visiting relatives when he was approached by police during a morning walk. A neighbor who saw Patel called police and reported a thin black man walking through the neighborhood and acting suspiciously
Parker slammed Patel down face-first during the ensuing 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.
Video showed Patel turning to look at Parker while his hands were behind his back just before he was slammed to the ground and seriously injured.
Defense attorney Robert Tuten has said the confrontation was an unfortunate escalation of police tactics and not a criminal offense.