Deaf Man Beaten By Police For Not Showing Hands When Verbally Ordered To Do So

I don’t think this incident is nearly as serious as some others that have been reported here at Political Outcast—most recently here and here, for example. But the context of those other incident make me think this fits a pattern.

According to KFOR News:

On Jan. 3, court records claim Pearl Pearson fled the scene of a car accident in south Oklahoma City.

An affidavit claims that when Pearson was pulled over along the Easter Ave. exit, just off I-40, he resisted two officers and refused to comply with repeated orders to display his hands.

There was a seven-minute altercation.

It does not say whether the officers were aware that he is hearing impaired.

Late Tuesday Pearl’s attorney, Billy Coyle, says “My client is completely innocent of these allegations. We are waiting on the OHP report and we are sorting  through the facts of the case. My client is profoundly deaf and was trying to give officers his specialty license during the stop”.

He says his client, a deaf man, was brutalized at the scene, at the hospital and continued at the jail.

One neighbor said the incident is a misunderstanding by troopers that went too far.

“I know they do dangerous jobs and they put their lives on the line, but that is over the top,” Sacia Law said.  “It’s completely unacceptable. Seven minutes of just basically beating someone?”

While some police do face danger in the line of duty, the Reason blog points out:

“Dangerous job” is a relative term, but as Radley Balko noted in his inaugural Washington Post column,  “the job of police officer is getting safer. Last year saw the fewest gun-related homicides of police officers since the 19th century. Assaults on cops are dropping, too.”

What many don’t realize is that much less glamorized jobs are much more dangerous. You have a much greater chance to be killed or injured if you work as a roofer than you have as a law enforcement officer.

Pearl Pearson or someone who supports him put up a website. It gives this version of events:

At this time, only limited details can be provided since this case is under investigation.

1. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol pulled Pearl over late in the evening on January 3, 2014. Pearl pulled over as he should.

2. Pearl’s driver’s license indicates he is Deaf. He also has a placard in his driver’s door that says, “Driver is deaf”.

3. Pearl pulled over and rolled down his window, expecting an officer to ask for this identification. An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything.  As you can see, he was struck multiple times.

4. An interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement.  Not during the booking, hospital, or time at the jail was an interpreter provided, even through Pearl requested one.

5. Pearl was left wondering “why” the the entire time.  He has no clue why he was beat. Pearl and his family are still not sure, but are ready for some answers.

6. Pearl’s own son is a police officer, as was his son-in-law, who is now a deputy sheriff.  He respects law enforcement and knows how to respond when pulled over.  There is no reason for someone like Pearl to be hurt like this by those who are meant to protect and serve.

We’ll have to wait and see what the investigators say on behalf of the police. But right now it looks like we have another case where the mission to “protect and serve,” was forgotten.