Madison police officers testify for defense in Parker trial, dispute government’s claim ‘takedown arrest’ was done incorrectly


Eric Parker (Photo: WHNT News 19 file photo)

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The federal trial of a Madison police officer will stretch into a second week.  Jurors have already heard hours of testimony -- both for and against Eric Parker, who is accused of violating a man's civil rights.

Six of Parker's fellow officers took the stand on Friday.  They were called by the defense, and by default showed solidarity with Parker through their testimony.

The judge allowed the testimony of a self-defense expert which was followed by the testimony of six Madison Police field training officers.  Disagreement over semantics in line of questioning and responses regarding technique and procedure warranted several sidebars with lawyers and the judge.

On multiple occasions, the judge had to ask the prosecutor to refrain from arguing with witnesses as he challenged officers in attempts to get them to concede that a takedown resulting in serious spinal injury was not warranted in the case.

Not a single Madison Police Department witness would agree what they saw in the police video was 'inconsistent with departmental policies.' Many defended that stance, saying they weren't present at the scene and couldn't gauge the level of resistance by Mr. Patel or what the video 'may not show.'

One witness even said after he sent an internal email expressing his disappointment over the call for Officer Parker's resignation, he was given a private screening of the dashcam video by Chief of Police Larry Muncey to demonstrate what Muncey said was done incorrectly that day.

Muncey recommended Officer Parker be fired over the video.  Parker is still on administrative leave.

Court adjourned just before 2 p.m. Friday to give jurors a jump on their weekend.  The judge reminded to keep their strict instructions to not discuss the case with anyone.  The trial will resume Tuesday morning.

Read our courtroom blog for more updates.

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