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Alabama policeman indicted for throwing Indian man to ground

Alabama policeman indicted for throwing Indian man to ground

(Reuters) - A U.S. grand jury has indicted an Alabama police officer, captured on video throwing an Indian man to the ground, on a civil rights charge stemming from the use of unreasonable force, federal prosecutors said on Friday. Eric Parker, 26, then an officer with the Madison Police Department, was seen on video recorded from inside a patrol vehicle on Feb. 6 throwing Sureshbhai Patel, 57, to the ground after attempting to question him. Patel, who speaks no English and moved to northern Alabama from India about two weeks before the incident to help his son's family care for a young child, was badly injured, said his lawyer, Henry Sherrod. Sherrod applauded the one-count indictment handed down late on Thursday, which charges that Parker acted under the color of law to deny Patel's civil rights, and which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. "For the public to trust police officers, it needs to know officers will be held accountable," Sherrod said in a statement. Patel last month filed a civil rights complaint against Parker, a second officer, and the city of Madison, alleging that race played a role in the incident. According to the lawsuit, Patel was walking on the sidewalk outside his son's home at around 9 a.m. when police said they received a call about a suspicious person. Patel told the officers who stopped him: "No English, Indian," and gave the house number for his son, the suit said. Parker then threw Patel, who weighs 130 pounds, to the ground, according to the complaint. Patel is in the process of regaining function in his hands and legs and only in the past few days has begun to walk with the help of a walker, Sherrod said. Parker's attorney, Robert Tuten, said he had not yet seen the federal indictment but expected that his client would plead not guilty. "Eric is being attacked from all sides," he said. "He doesn't believe that he's violated the law." Parker was also charged in state court with misdemeanor assault, to which he has pleaded not guilty. The Madison Police Department released video of the incident and apologized for Parker's actions. It said it has recommended the officer's termination, which he is challenging. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans and Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Will Dunham and Gunna Dickson)
 

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Geek Girl in Hollywood: A plea for more sensible female costumes

Geek Girl in Hollywood: A plea for more sensible female costumes

This past week we got a brand new costume for Wonder Woman in the comics. This time around she’s wearing pants. Whether or not you like the way it looks, it’s certainly going to be easier to fight in. I’ve been thinking about it since it came out and it’s gotten me into a lot of late-night discussions about female costumes. Before you start typing me that angry tweet, let me say this. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being sexy or looking sexy. I love the Slave Leia costume! She freaking strangles Jabba the Hutt in it! However, Carrie Fisher has stated that it was hard to — ahem, keep things where they were supposed to be in a metal bikini top.  Have you ever tried to do yoga in a bathing suit? Doesn’t work. You know why? It doesn’t hold anything in! Now, I know we’re talking fantasy in movies, TV, video games and comics. I don’t believe that a real person could wield a sword the size of Sigfried’s in the old game “Soul Calibur,” but Ivy’s costume stretches even the most elastic bits of acceptance to the breaking point. (I’m not saying she shouldn’t be drawn that way. I’m saying it’s a fun discussion to have.) Boobs the size of pumpkins cannot stay inside a one-inch piece of fabric, no matter how strong. If they were even really attempting to hold them in, boob physics (yes, I wrote that) would argue that they’d be smooshed in a bit.  Again, this isn’t a “don’t do it that way” piece. However, as I watch shows or read comics, I’ll find myself saying things like, “You can’t fight with a long pony tail! It’s practically a handle for your enemy!” or “No more boob armor! If she fell, her chest would be cut open by the edge of those things! Physics!” “Why would you have a metal bra on to fight but have nothing covering your stomach? You can die from a gut wound! Oh, right. You’re protecting the important bits.”  The reason I say all of this is that it might be interesting for artists and costume designers to consider what takes you out of the story. Or be wiling to admit what is done for artistic reasons vs. what is done for the straight male gaze. If that’s your thing, go for it. If you’re looking to bring in other types of readers or viewers as many studios and comic book companies are, it’s something worth thinking about. A friend of mine said to me recently that lots of male superheroes are drawn in skin-tight outfits that show an unrealistic muscle structure, so it’s not surprising that women are. There is a difference though. They’re drawn that way to look strong. Female characters are drawn in similar outfits to look sexy.  What I’m saying is this: How about we combine the two? And for Pete’s sake, no more fighting in pony tails! Follow Jenna Busch on Twitter @jennabusch and visit her website, Legion of Leia.
 
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