Deaf News: California police use taser on deaf man trying to communicate with them in sign language

Posted on February 19, 2014

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Raw Story has reported on another horrific incident involving American police and deaf people, just weeks after the story about the deaf man who was beaten by police when he didn’t respond to their calls.

Extract:

Four police officers in Hawthorne, California used a taser on a man who was attempting to tell them that he was deaf via sign language.

The Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Jonathan Meister, who was charged with assault as a result of the incident. According to the lawsuit, Meister was retrieving boxes he had left at a friend’s house when police, alerted by a neighbor to a possible burglary, arrived.

Officers Jeffrey Salmon, Jeffrey Tysl, Erica Bristow, and Mark Hultgren allegedly ordered Meister to stop loading the boxes into his car, but Meister could not hear the order. One of the officers then grabbed Meister by the hand, who responded by attempting to use American Sign Language to communicate with the officer.

The officers interpreted his sudden movements as resistance, so they “struck Meister with fists and feet, and forcibly took him to the ground.” Once he was on the ground, one of the officers allegedly shot him twice with a taser. Another officer then delivered a “drive stun” to Meister’s abdomen.

Read the full story here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/16/california-police-use-taser-on-deaf-man-trying-to-communicate-with-them-via-sign-language/

With thanks to Tom Brooks

Posted in: deaf news