An Alabama police officer was arrested on an assault charge Thursday and could be fired for slamming a 57-year-old Indian man to the ground last week, leaving the grandfather partially paralyzed.
I try not to rush to judgment about cops' use of force, but in this case it seems clear that what Officer Parker did was excessive. Watch the video and see how fast Patel's feet flew out from under him. One foot was almost at shoulder level at the moment when his face hit the ground. Although one grainy, silent video is no substitute for having been there, it's hard to imagine that Officer Parker perceived a degree of threat that warranted that amount of force.
As far as I know the Madison police department is handling this properly so far. Of course it's terrible that this happened in the first place, but I'd like to believe this police department is setting a positive example by showing it has standards that it takes very seriously.
This all started with a civilian calling 911 while following Patel in his car — a grimly familiar scenario. I suppose it's also a positive that this time no one got shot.