Deaf Man Tased & Pepper Sprayed for using the Bathroom

(RAW STORY)   Alabama police are apparently prepared if Batman’s nemesis The Penguin and his weapon-umbrella army ever attack.

“Officers who used pepper spray and a Taser to remove a man from a store bathroom found out only later he was deaf and mentally disabled and didn’t understand they wanted him to open the door, police said Tuesday,” the Associated Press reports. “A spokesman for the Mobile Police Department said the officers’ actions were justified because the man was armed with a potential weapon — an umbrella.”

Alabama’s Press Register has more details:

After forcibly removing Antonio Love from the bathroom of the Azalea Road store, officers attempted to book the 37-year-old, on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer, but the magistrate on duty at the jail refused to accept any of those charges.

….

Christopher Levy, a Police Department spokesman, said the officers didn’t find out that Love had a hearing impairment until after they got him out of the bathroom and found a card in his wallet indicating he was deaf.

The officers’ decision to take Love to jail — even after they discovered his disability — as well as their conduct throughout the incident is still under investigation, Levy said.

Use of the Taser and the pepper spray appear to be justified according to the department’s policy, he said.

The paper reveals that “[n]o credentialed interpreter was ever made available,” even though “[f]ederal disabilities law requires law enforcement to seek a translator” in such instances.

“Levy said an interpreter was called for but later cancelled when the officers learned that one of the responding ambulance workers knew sign language,” the paper reports. “Late Monday, Love said, he was never told through an interpreter or shown on paper his Miranda rights — the right not to disclose information and the right to an attorney — required to be told to arrested persons.”

“He didn’t know it was a policeman until they busted the door in on him,” his mother told the Associated Press. “He had a knot on his head from where it hit him.”

The “internal investigation will include a review of Love’s complaints that officers laughed at him after realizing he was deaf,” the AP reports Levy said.

Alabama’s Fox10TV reports, “The incident happened around 11:00 a.m., and when he was returned home, it was 4:00 in the afternoon. He was never arrested. Love’s mom doesn’t understand.”

The following video is from Fox10Tv:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H56olMroheQ

http://rawstory.com/blog/2009/07/police-taser-use-on-disabled-man-justified-because-he-had-an-umbrella/

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