The civil rights lawsuit filed against the police brutal- ization of Sureshbhai Patel, 57, which left him
temporarily partially paralyzed,
has been amended to remove a
police officer trainee as a defendant.
The amended suit names the
City of Madison, Alabama, and
now former police officer Eric
Parker, 26, as the only defendants.
“The lawsuit is in the very early
stages,” Patel’s attorney Hank
Sherrod informed India Abroad.
“We are still investigating the case
and have many months to amend
the complaint to add claims and
“There are many strategic con-
siderations involved in how claims
are pleaded and which parties to
sue,” he continued. “As currently
framed, the lawsuit deprives the
defendants of any basis for filing
motions to dismiss and seeking a
stay of discovery. Including addi-
tional claims and parties at this point
would likely cause a loss of momentum in our
pursuit of justice for Mr Patel.”
Patel, who was thrown on the ground while out
on a walk, is still in the rehabilitation center, pro-
gressing well. India’s Consul General in Atlanta
Ajit Kumar visited him and presented him a
check, the amount of which was not disclosed.
The fundraising for Patel’s medical expenses has
collected $205,138 from 4,844 people within 15
days. Another fundraiser started for officer Parker
was taken off from a crowd-funding site after collecting more than $3,000.
The lawsuit demands compensatory damages,
punitive damages, prejudgment and postjudgment
interest at the highest rates allowed by law, reasonable attorney’s fees, and such other and further
relief to which Patel is justly entitled. The suit says
that Parker is sued in his individual capacity.
The lawsuit describes what happened February 6, and how he was violently assaulted by Eric Parker without provocation. The main points of the lawsuit:
Patel was dressed for the walk in plain pants, a buttoned shirt, a
sweater, and a knit cap and he had nothing in his pockets except a
green patterned handkerchief that was later used by officers to wipe
blood from his face.
After a call from a neighbor about a suspicious person, Parker, a field
training officer, and a police officer trainee arrived and ordered Patel to
stop. Patel told the officers ‘no English,’ ‘Indian,’ ‘walking,’ and pointed
down the street and said ‘house number (actual number).’
This stop was without reasonable suspicion or probable cause and
was illegal. Patel continued to attempt to explain the situation to the
Patel is a small man, weighing between 130 and 140 pounds, probably
closer to 130, and is narrow of frame and mild of manner.
Parker searched Patel for weapons, which was unnecessary and illegal,
as there was no reason to believe Patel was armed or presented any kind
of danger or threat. After the search, without provocation, Parker
restrained Patel’s arms and slammed Patel face first into the ground.
This use of force was unnecessary and excessive.
Patel’s face was bloodied, there was significant trauma to Patel’s spinal
cord, and his arms and legs were immediately paralyzed.
Patel had to undergo cervical fusion surgery to relieve pressure on his
The rehabilitation process is expected to be lengthy and difficult, and
it is not known whether Patel will make a full recovery. Patel has no
The suit alleges that Parker searched plaintiff’s person without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, thereby depriving Patel of his rights
under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of
the United States. Parker also violated plaintiff’s right to be free from
unlawful searches and Parker acted with malice or reckless indifference
to Patel’s constitutional rights, which caused Patel to suffer physical and
emotional injuries and damages and has been caused to incur medical
bills and other expenses.
The suit alleges that Parker’s conduct was either negligent, wanton,
malicious, willful, or in bad faith. To the extent that the conduct of
Parker was negligent or careless, the city is liable for his conduct, the
suit alleges, as he was acting within the line and scope of his employment with the city.
The suit asks for relief determined by a jury.
Alabama police brutality:
Lawsuit amended, trainee
cop no longer defendant
In a major relief to Overseas Citizenship of India card holders, the government of India has decided to dispense with
the ‘U’ visa sticker pasted on foreign passports.
‘With the approval of the competent
authority, it has been decided to dispense
with the ‘U’ (Universal) visa sticker on the
foreign passport of OCI cardholders with
immediate effect and to modify the OCI
registration certificate in the form booklet
to provide for the endorsement “Visa
Validity Lifelong”,’ an Indian government
‘It has come to notice that many OCI
cardholders do not carry the passport con-
taining the ‘U’ visa sticker while they
enter/exit India and consequently face
problems at the immigration counter,’ it
noted. ‘Accordingly, all Immigration author-
ities have been requested not to insist on
production of the foreign passport contain-
ing the ‘U’ visa sticker in the case of new
OCI cardholders (having endorsement Visa
Validity Lifelong) while they enter/exit
The new rule seems to exempt future OCI
cardholders from carrying an old passport
with a ‘U’ visa sticker. Those who already
have an OCI card may carry the old pass-
port with ‘U’ visa sticker. The order noted,
‘However, it is advised that passport con-
taining ‘U’ sticker may be carried with the
new passport and OCI registration card,
The order also indicated that the immi-
gration authorities will be lenient even
when a person brings only the OCI card.
‘Immigration authorities in India have
been advised not to insist on production of
the foreign passport containing the ‘U’ visa
sticker and to grant clearance based on production of the OCI Card only,’ the order said.
Till now, the authorities insisted on the
‘U’ visa even if one carried the OCI card. In
some cases people were sent back for not
The problem was faced by people who
renewed their foreign passports. When
they renew, the ‘U’ visa might be in the old
passport. If one carries both old and new
passport along with the OCI card, there
was no problem.
Activists and organizations have been
demanding to stop pasting the visa on the
passport when there is a separate OCI card
The government notification also noted
the abolition of the Person of Indian Origin
card and merging it with the OCI scheme.
‘There is no need to change the PIO
card into OCI card and the currently
held PIO cards are treated as OCI cards
with all the facilities entitled to an OCI
card holder, having lifelong validity with
no requirement of registering with
Foreigners Regional Registration
Offices/Foreigners Registration Offices
in India if their stay was exceeding 180
days,’ the notification said.
Indian government says producing
U visa sticker no longer mandatory
India’s Consul General in Atlanta Ajit Kumar with Sureshbhai Patel in hospital.