In which using sign language gestures is considered attempted assault. The New York Daily News reports:
Cops in California tasered a deaf man to the ground and then beat him unconscious because he couldn’t hear their orders, 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.
Four cops arrived at his friend’s house in Hawthorne after receiving reports of a burglary [in an area that had experienced a rash of burglaries]. Meister was outside loading boxes into his car when the officers reportedly told him to stop. But because he is deaf, he said he did not hear their commands.
The officers beat Meister until he passed out, before taking him to a hospital where he was charged with assaulting police officers. That charge, however, was dropped and Hawthorne Police Department is now facing a lawsuit for violating Meister’s rights as a disabled person under the American with Disabilities Act.