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Article posted Feb 16 2014, 3:17 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Courthouse News Service Print

Southern California Police Beat and Taser an Innocent Deaf Man


LOS ANGELES (CN) - Clueless Hawthorne police beat and Tasered a deaf man as he signaled to them that he was deaf and his friend had loaned him the snowboard he was carrying, the man claims in court.

In a federal complaint for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Jonathan Meister claims the attack could have been avoided had Hawthorne trained its police officers to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing.

Officers confronted him on Feb. 13 outside a friend's home as he picked up a snowboard and winter clothes for a trip to Utah, Meister says in the lawsuit.

Meister says he used hand gestures to try to tell police he is deaf and was lawfully at the home.

The cops were having none of it. They "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," he says in the complaint.

Officers kicked and punched him in the back and stomach, choked and Tasered him, delivering "punishing shocks" and intentionally "burning his flesh," Meister claims.

He says four defendant officers took part in the attack: Jeffrey Salmon, Jeffrey Tysl, Erica Bristow and Mark Hultgren.

After he was knocked unconscious and taken to a hospital, he cited for assaulting the officers and released, but the charges were dropped.

"This incident occurred in substantial part because the HPD [Hawthorne Police Department] does not provide its officers the training and resources to serve people who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those who communicate primarily through American Sign Language," the lawsuit states.

Meister seeks statutory, treble and punitive damage for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, and civil rights violations.

Also named as defendants are the City of Hawthorne, its Police Department and Police Chief Robert Fager.

Meister is represented by John Burton of Pasadena.

Hawthorne, pp. 85,000, is part of Greater Los Angeles, between Manhattan Beach and Compton.

Numerous, similar lawsuits have been filed across the country, in which police beat and arrested diabetics suffering from insulin shock, believing, or claiming to believe, that they were drunk.

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Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Feb 17 2014, 3:24 AM

82145 Yeah , lack of training is all that happened here . Give me a break .
More like lack of respect/courtesy/compassion/intellegence/feelings & all the other human attributes which separate "them" from us .
Just psycopathic thugs who know they will be bailed out with taxpayers cash . People really need to stop coming to settlements with local authorities & pursue the individual officers in the courts . They settle the cases they know they won't win & fight the cases they think they can win . An offer to settle means you have them by the balls & now is the time to squeeze for all your worth . Taking money WILL NOT change their habits as its not their money to begin with . Take 'em down in person !!

Posted: Feb 18 2014, 3:06 PM

108242 Exactly IrishPete. This is happening because of their training! Not for any lack of it!

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