Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Don't be Deaf in California

HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — Jonathan Meister was retrieving some stuff he was storing at an ex-roommate’s home when he looked up to find several members of the Hawthorne Police Department approaching.
The South Bay man claims officers didn’t give him a chance to explain what he was doing before placing him in handcuffs, beating him and using a stun gun to shock him into submission.
The problem began when police reportedly misunderstood Meister’s attempts to speak in sign language as threatening gestures.
Moreover, officers didn’t realize that when they handcuffed Meister, who is “profoundly deaf” and non-verbal, they took away his ability to communicate.
Now, the architect from Manhattan Beach is suing the city of Hawthorne, its police department and several of its officers for what happened that day.

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