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Police chief in Patel case held in contempt, placed on leave

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Madison police chief Larry Muncey leaves federal court on Friday, followed by his attorney, Jerry Barclay.

Madison police chief Larry Muncey leaves federal court on Friday, followed by his attorney, Jerry Barclay.

MADISON, Ala. (Diya TV) — Madison police chief Larry Muncey was held in contempt of court last week, fined $2,500, ordered to undergo special training and has been placed on administrative leave by the town’s mayor.

The maximum penalty Muncey could have faced was six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Muncey is the only person to be convicted in the Indian grandfather case, which arose from a February 2015 incident that resulted in an elderly Indian man being slammed to the ground by Madison police officer Eric Parker, who was reportedly responding to a suspicious person call. When Parker arrived, he stopped Sureshbhai Patel, who was walking by his son’s home.

Parker has been tried twice in federal court for the violation of Patel’s civil rights, but neither jury could reach a verdict. He was ultimately acquitted of civil rights violation charges by U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala, who then brought contempt charges against Muncey.

Muncey on Thursday announced he was taking a leave of absence, and with him on leave, Major Jim Cooke has been named acting police chief by Madison mayor Troy Trulock.

Judge Haikala’s contempt ruling stems from Muncey’s improper communication with witnesses — all fellow police officers — during the civil rights trial of the aforementioned Parker. Additionally, the judge said Muncey was wrong to assign a subordinate to observe courtroom proceedings once he was barred from doing so. He was also wrong in ordering officers who testified at the trial to submit reports of their testimony to him within 24 hours, the judge said.

Speaking from the bench for nearly 30 minutes, Judge Haikala outlined Muncey’s transgressions, saying repeatedly that the special prosecutor had proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. At the same time, she said she understood the position Muncey had been put in with trying to protect the department’s liability with such an unusual case. Regardless, he violated a clear order from the judge, she said.

Muncey has to “trust the process,” she said.

Muncey himself testified earlier that special prosecutors had over-stepped their boundaries during the process of trying to build their civil rights case against Parker.

“I told them they had a weak case,” Muncey testified in federal court. “They were trying to prove willfulness and it just was not there.”

Patel, who speaks no English, required surgery on his spine after the incident with Parker. At the time, Muncey recommended that Parker, who was charged with a single count of misdemeanor assault, be fired.

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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night

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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — It was supposed to be debate night, a second battle between former Vice President Biden and President Trump. But after the President’s COViD-19 diagnosis, an in person battle wasn’t in the cards. The President did not want to do a virtual debate, so both men held separate town halls at the exact same time to try and win over voters with less than three weeks before the election and millions of people already casting their ballots early.

Many of the biggest Desi names in entertainment got together for a virtual ‘South Asian Block Party’ to support the Biden-Harris campaign. In just a couple hours, $250,000 was raised, with a number of the prominent figures sharing their personal stories on why they are supporting the Biden ticket.

Pakistan’s government has banned TikTok, citing complaints alleging the popular video app carried immoral and indecent content.

Simran Sethi, ABC TV’s Executive Vice President of Development and Content Strategy, is putting in place a new set of inclusion standards to ensure the television network accurately reflects society.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian American professor missing near Mt. Rainier

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Indian American professor missing near Mt. Rainier | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Sam Dubal, an Indian American anthropology professor at the University of Washington, has been missing for days, according to his sister, UC Hastings law professor Veena Dubal. Sam is said to have gone on an overnight hike and backpacking trip near Mount Rainier in Washington state. Park rangers have found his car, but there is still no sign of him. If you hear about his whereabouts, you are asked to call 360-569-6684.

https://youtu.be/ddvPz0NkcFs

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee began a week of confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Judge Barrett praised the legacies of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham set the agenda and defended his decision to move Barrett’s nomination forward. Barrett could become the first justice placed on the court right before a Presidential election.

Actress Mindy Kaling took the occasion of being on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to announce she just gave birth to a baby boy named Spencer in September. It’s the second child for Kaling, who told Colbert her daughter Katherine reconnected her to Hinduism after her birth.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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President Trump & First Lady contract COVID-19

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President Trump & First Lady contract COVID-19 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The world’s attention is focused on the health of President Trump and the first lady after they disclosed they both have the coronavirus. The President is 74 years old and is considered in a high risk category. White House spokespeople say the President was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center for observation and will be there for a few days out of “an abundance of caution.” Sources close to the situation say the President is experiencing a low-grade fever and that he took an experimental drug cocktail to boost his immune system. The First Lady, Melania Trump, remains at the White House. Trump confidants Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Bill Stepien also contracted the virus.

Well wishes for the President are coming in from around the globe, with one of the first messages of support coming from Indian Prime Minister Modi.

There are tributes around the U.S. to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary. Political leaders sent their well wishes and there was a ceremony at the Indian Embassy in Washington to commemorate the occasion.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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