Flix Monday, March 02, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 17, 2015 | 01:51 pm IST  Soon after a crowd-funding initiative was launched to raise money for the medical expenses of Sureshbhai Patel, the Indian man who was roughed up by the Madison police, leaving him temporarily paralysed, another internet fundraiser has been started in support of the police officer charged with assaulting Patel. A video of the racially charged incident Feb 6 shows police officer Eric Parker attacking 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel even as he falls to the ground and is unable to get up. The crowd-funding site set up on Indiegogo.com for the 26-year-old Parker, has raised $3,246 till now, against a goal of $10,000. The description on the site reads, 'This fund is to support our friend. Any donation is greatly appreciated'. Some donations on the site were of $1, which appeared to be sarcastic gestures with one of the donors adding a note to the dollar contribution, 'Please read: Eric Parker violently reacted beyond the bounds of the law. He should be prosecuted for his crime. Its that simple'. However, in the atmosphere of racial tension, there were larger donations and voices of support for the officer. One woman who sent in $25 wrote, 'I want Mr. Parker to know that my husband and I support him 100%. I am so sorry that in a split second his life has become so difficult and hard. Unfortunately the media always tells the worst even though they don't know all the facts. My heart hurts for you. I know Mr. Parker will evolve stronger and I hope he is able to get his life back on track as soon as possible. God Bless you!' The Gofundme.com site for 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel, on the other hand, has raised $178,774 from 4,130 people against a target of $100,000 till now. When a neighbour complained to police that a "skinny black guy" was loitering in the neighbourhood, Parker and a trainee drove over and confronted Patel. The encounter quickly escalated when Patel, who does not speak English, could not answer police questions. Patel had recently come to the US to visit his son around two weeks ago. After releasing the video of the attack recorded by a camera mounted on the police car officials promptly fired the officer. He has been charged with assault and could face a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. He surrendered to authorities at a local jail Thursday and was released on bail with a court appearance set for March 12. The swift action by Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey was in sharp contrast to the handling of the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and the choking death of a man on Staten Island. In both cases where the victims were African Americans, the white police officers stayed on the police force while they were were cleared by a grand jury, the first step in prosecution. Riots broke out for several days over the incident in Ferguson. With inputs from IANS Tweet
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