Ala. Attorney General files motion to dismiss assault charge against Madison police officer Eric Parker

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Eric Parker, during second trial (Nov. 4, 2015)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Former Madison police officer Eric Parker has been preparing to stand trial in Limestone County.  However, that may not happen after all.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday he has filed a motion in Limestone County District Court to dismiss a misdemeanor assault charge against Parker.

Parker was tried twice in federal court for the February 2015 takedown of Sureshbhai Patel on a Madison sidewalk.  Both proceedings ending in mistrials. The judge acquitted him of an excessive force charge.

“After a careful review of the witness testimony included in 2,000 pages of federal trial transcripts and a re-evaluation of the evidence, we are seeking to dismiss State charges against Mr. Parker,” said Attorney General Strange.

“Without a doubt this is an unfortunate case and we agree with U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala that ‘The result in this case is by no means satisfying. Hindsight brings clarity to a calamity…’.

“Nevertheless, the State has been monitoring the federal court proceedings since last September which resulted in two federal mistrials of Mr. Parker and his acquittal by a federal judge. While the State charge has a lesser kind of culpability than that of the federal charge, the evidence is the same and the State’s burden remains proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“After a review of the federal trial testimony, it does not appear that there would be sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, we have a duty to move to dismiss the charge.”

Parker still faces a civil lawsuit over the incident.