Another Mistrial in Parker Case, Tuscaloosa's Big Game Means Big Bucks

Nov 5, 2015

Former Madison police officer Eric Parker
Credit Brynn Anderson / AP

A second trial for an Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force on an Indian man ended yesterday in a hung jury.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala declared a second mistrial yesterday in the case involving former Madison police officer Eric Parker. Parker’s defense attorney asked the judge to acquit his client.

Federal prosecutors are considering trying the case a third time. They and Parker's attorney Robert Tuten say they're ready to try again if necessary. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Posey says that depends on the judge's decision on Tuten's motion for acquittal.

Parker was charged with violating the rights of 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel during a police stop in February. Parker knocked Patel to the ground while investigating a suspicious person complaint.

Patel has said through an interpreter that he doesn't understand English and didn't understand the officer's orders.

The Alabama Crimson Tide faces LSU this Saturday.

Tuscaloosa businesses are expecting a substantial economic boost during the game day weekend. The rivalry between the two teams has local tourism boosters expecting a packed weekend. Another factor is that both schools are within driving distance of one another.

Jay Kasten is the Director of Sports with Tuscaloosa Tourism. He says more than 140,000 people will be watching the game in town.

“This will be a huge weekend for our hotels. Pretty much all of them will be full Friday and Saturday, and then from that, with all of these people in here, they will definitely overflow into our restaurants and some of our other bars certainly will benefit, and a lot of the retail shopping centers will benefit.”

Excitement may be heightened over the recent announcement from the College Football Playoff committee putting both Alabama and LSU in its first playoff rankings. The Tigers are ranked second, and the Crimson Tide is fourth.

After a two-and-a-half-year wait, the Kentuck Art Center will be reopening for Art Night.

The renovated building features a new interior and exterior look that includes a staircase and upgraded courtyard.

Exa Skinner is the program manager for the Kentuck Art Center. She says tonight will be a special event for the art center.

“They're all big events for us, but this one is going to be very special. Not only is it a chance for people to see the new building; it's our soft opening of the new building. We will actually have a big grand opening in February.”

The Art Night this evening will feature festival artist Miz Thang, world-renowned blues singer Debbie Bond, and local vendors.

NASA is currently designing a new rocket In Alabama which is supposed to carry astronauts on long space missions. Now, the agency is looking for people to hop on board.

NASA says it will start accepting applications for its latest class of Astronauts next month.

The crew members who are selected will fly one of several types of spacecraft. There’s the Space Launch System rocket being designed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville for long trips to the Moon or Mars. These new astronauts may also fly on one of two commercial capsules bound for the International Space Station. Boeing is building one of the new types of capsules, which will launch on Atlas-Five rockets also being built in Alabama.

NASA picks astronauts in groups or classes, with perhaps the most famous collection during project Mercury in the 1960's. That class of astronauts included men like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Gus Grissom.