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Resource ID: #27523
Subject: International Reporting
Source: Alabama Media Group
Affiliation: 
Date: The first story on this topic to appear anywhere ran on Feb. 10, 2015. Stories ran intermittently throughout 2015.

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Description

This story happened fast. Pursuing a cryptic police release about an injury to a unidentified man during a traffic stop on Feb. 6, I managed to track down the necessary information to publish a full account on Feb. 10. This first story of a police encounter gone wrong, of the leg sweep and spinal injury to an Indian farmer brought to Alabama days before to care for his grandson, would spiral rapidly into an international incident. I found myself being interviewed on Indian television days later as the story drew global interest. Indian diplomats were dispatched to the man's hospital bed. Two days of intense international pressure led the small department in an affluent, relatively multi-cultural bedroom community to release the video that confirmed this initial report as well as take the unusual step of arresting their own officer. In the following weeks, the governor of Alabama would apologize to the Indian government and the FBI would indict the patrol officer for a civil rights violation, leading to back-to-back hung juries in 2015. I have been covering, off and on, this fascinating look at the collision of citizen rights and attitudes on immigration and police policies ever since.

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