|File photo - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley looks around during a brief run through before he is inaugurated for his second term, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)|
Two Madison Police officers converged on the 100 block of Hardiman Place last Friday following a complaint of a "really skinny black guy wearing a toboggan" allegedly peering into the garages of several homes. The really skinny black guy wearing a toboggan turned out to be an elderly grandfather visiting from India, creating an international scandal.
Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India's External Affairs Ministry, said the government took the incident "very seriously" and was in contact with the U.S. mission in New Dehli.All of this forced Alabama's Governor Robert Bentley (R) to apologize to the government of India for treating one of it's citizens like a "skinny black man wearing a toboggan".
The government also will contact officials in Washington and Alabama, Akbaruddin said in response to reporters' questions in New Dehli about the treatment of Sureshbhai (pronounced suh-RESH'-beye pah-TEL') Patel in the Tennessee Valley city of Madison.
"What we will communicate is that we are extremely disturbed," he said. "This is a matter of concern for us, and India and the U.S. as open pluralist societies need to address these issues and find ways in a mature manner so that these are aberrations and are not the norm."
I deeply regret the unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison Police Department on Sureshbhai Patel and for the injuries sustained by Mr. Patel," Bentley wrote to Consul General Ajit Kumar in Atlanta. "I sincerely hope that Mr. Patel continues to improve and that he will regain full use of his legs."Psst Government of India! Can you do something about the excessive force used on black/brown Americans in America too?
Bentley said he has instructed the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to conduct an investigation into the incident parallel to one being done by the FBI.
"I wish to assure you and the government of India that we will see that justice is done arising from the use of excessive force under color of state law upon a citizen of India," Bentley wrote.