I can’t believe what the cops in this situation did to Jonathan Meister!
He was just loading boxes he left at a friend’s house into his vehicle in Hawthorne, California, when cops who were told there may be a burglary at the house arrived on the scene on February 13. They told him to stop putting the boxes into his vehicle, but because he was deaf he didn’t hear what they were saying.
Meister tried to use sign language to communicate with them, and one of the officers mistook his hand motions for aggressive force. Are you serious? How could you not know he was using sign language?
The cops not only punched and kicked him but they also allegedly shot him twice with a taser. If that wasn’t enough, one of the officers then gave him a “drive stun” to his abdomen. This poor man went through so much when he did nothing wrong to begin with!
According to rawstory.com, the cops allegedly beat Meister until he was unconscious. They then took him to a hospital where he was charged with assaulting police officers. The charge was dropped at a later time, and the cops are now facing a lawsuit.
Meister is rightfully suing the cops for violating his rights as a disabled person under the American with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit says, “This incident occurred in substantial part because the HPD does not provide its officers the training and resources to serve people who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
In addition, the lawsuit also states that the Hawthorne Police Department had failed “to provide effective communication to deaf and hard of hearing individuals, including himself, who come into contact and interact with the HPD, thereby discriminating against him.”
The Hawthorne Police Department released a statement that said, “Hawthorne Police Department Officers are trained to deal with incidents where communication, for various reasons, can sometimes be difficult. Officers make every effort to communicate effectively and bring every one of these incidents to a peaceful resolution.”
Can you honestly say the cops in this situation made “every effort to communicate effectively?” And how about the “trained to deal with incidents where communication, for various reasons, can sometimes be difficult” part of the statement? I can’t say I agree with that either.