California Police Beat And Taser A Deaf Man For “Agressive” Sign Language
Cops in California needlessly tasered a deaf man to the ground and then beat him into unconsciousness, a new lawsuit claims.
Jonathan Meister alleges officers discharged the electric charge into his body after mistaking his attempts to communicate via sign language as aggressive hand signals.
He claims four cops arrived at his friend’s house in Hawthorne the day before Valentine’s Day in 2013 after receiving reports of a burglary.
Meister “was removing his own property from the backyard of a friend’s home, with the friend’s consent” when he was initially confronted by two cops, according to the lawsuit.
“They ended up grabbing his arms and turning him around, and if you do that to a deaf person, it’s like gagging them,” his lawyer John Burton told the Daily News on Tuesday. “It would be like if I put my hand over your mouth if you try to tell me something.”
Meister reflexively pulled his arms away and jumped over a small fence to create space so he could better communicate, Burton said, but Officers Jeffrey Salmon and Jeffrey Tysl apparently took that as an act of aggression.
Then isht went left, FAST
Salmon and Tysl were joined by Officers Erica Bristow and Mark Hultgren, who all ganged up on Meister, his lawyer claims.
“The officers either failed to recognize that Mr. Meister is deaf, cannot hear, and/or failed to take into account that he communicates primarily using American Sign Language,” the lawsuit charges.
According to the suit, the cops “shot taser darts into Mr. Meister, administered a number of painful electric shocks, struck him with fists and feet, and forcibly took him to the ground. The officers then arrested Mr. Meister allegedly for assaulting them.”
One of the officers executed a carotid chokehold, Burton said, briefly knocking Meister out. Authorities took him to a hospital where he was charged with assaulting police officers.
That charge, however, was dropped and the Hawthorne Police Department is now facing a lawsuit for violating Meister’s civil rights.
Some of these pigs really ain’t isht. We see a big fat check in Mr. Meister’s future.
Images via Johnathan Meister