Police arrested a man who didn’t comply with their commands. That’s because he is deaf

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

News from Colorado.

When police in Idaho Springs, Colo., saw a vehicle roll through a stop sign on a September evening in 2019, they followed it into a laundromat’s parking lot and turned on their flashing lights.

The driver, Brady Mistic, parked his car and stepped out of the vehicle.

He later said he did not understand what was happening, or even that he was being pulled over — Mistic is deaf and communicates primarily through American Sign Language.

In the confusion, the situation escalated. According to a new lawsuit filed by Mistic, the officers threw him to the ground, stunned him with a Taser and put him in handcuffs. Unable to fully communicate, he tried to use some of the few words he is able to speak: “No ears.” It seemed to make no difference.

After the encounter, Mistic was charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police officer. He was jailed for four months, during which time he said he continued to struggle to communicate the misunderstanding. The charges were later dropped.

Two years after the incident, Mistic has filed the lawsuit against the city of Idaho Springs and the two officers involved, alleging excessive force, unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution and discrimination against a person with a disability. The suit also accuses Clear Creek County of failing to properly accommodate his disability in jail.

“This is a civil rights action seeking justice for the shocking use of unnecessary police force and wrongful incarceration of a deaf man whom the Defendant officers rashly attacked after failing to recognize his disability and misinterpreting his non-threatening attempts to see and comunicate as challenges to police authority,” the lawsuit states.

In a statement, the Idaho Springs Police Department said the two officers, Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers, did not know Mistic was deaf. The department said the police chief had reviewed the incident and found the officers acted appropriately in the situation.

Of course the chief found that they acted appropriately.  They’re geniuses, one and all.  Top IQ, cops are.  Top boys and girls.

All of their procedures are perfect, the cops are smart, and it’s customary to slam people around.

Some folks, like this chief, still tell fairy tales like little children are listening.  And others love to hear them, like for example, if you vote for Mitt Romney, or write at the National Review and consider yourself a “law and order” type.


Comments

  1. On September 27, 2021 at 9:38 pm, Jsf said:

    “After the encounter, Mistic was charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police officer. He was jailed for four months, during which time he said he continued to struggle to communicate the misunderstanding. The charges were later dropped.”

    Something is rotten in Denmark…how the fvck do you not know someoneis deaf/dumb after a few minutes?? Four months in jail?

  2. On September 27, 2021 at 10:02 pm, BRVTVS said:

    A similar event happened to Thomas Edison, who was deaf. When Edison didn’t respond to the cops command, the cop opened fire. Fortunately for those of us who like things like phonographs and lightbulbs, things haven’t changed – that cop was just as bad a shot as cops are today, so Edison wasn’t injured.

  3. On September 27, 2021 at 11:38 pm, George 1 said:

    Four months in jail to have the charges dropped. Were the police and/or DA investigating the crime for four months? I guess I am not surprised. The Constitution no longer means anything. Charges are supposed to be brought within 48 hours. I know that is a quaint old requirement of a time past.

    The thing to remember is that LE no longer has any guardrails. The cops could have just as easily killed the man and gotten away with it. Find a good attorney that you want to defend you before the fact so you have one to call if needed. This kind of thing can happen to anyone.

  4. On September 28, 2021 at 12:56 am, Jimmy the Saint said:

    The local constabulary periodically has community Q&A sessions where they’ll bring up issues and take questions. I went to one some years ago and asked how they dealt with non-English speakers and deaf people who might not be able to understand and/or respond to questions, commands, etc. To paraphrase Monsters, Inc.: their blank stares were very reassuring.

  5. On September 28, 2021 at 2:46 am, Show Me said:

    I guess I didn’t realize you could be licensed to drive while deaf. Seriously, isn’t that a bit of a hazard?

    I’m conflicted, as I’m more prone to lean towards driving being a right rather than a privilege. But I’d sure be worried about my ability to safely navigate traffic if I was deaf.

    All that said, it doesn’t excuse the cops in the least. How can you not realize someone is deaf after a bit of interaction with them, not to mention four months.

  6. On September 28, 2021 at 6:41 am, Matt said:

    There’s lot of things I would like to say, but won’t. Let’s just say I’m no fan of cops and sometimes they get what they deserve.

    Funny story from a former coworker. She was riding in a car with someone else who was foreign born (Ethiopia). They got stopped. The driver said watch this and played dumb, not understanding officer Notso Friendly. They kept going, “huh?” And responding in their native dialect. Finally they picked up a magazine and acted excited as they handed it to him. She said you could see the red line rising in his neck and across his face. Finally he just threw up his hands and stormed off, got in his car and left.

    Guess asserting his “authority” wasn’t worth the trouble.

  7. On September 28, 2021 at 8:14 am, WiscoDave said:

    Not just if you are deaf:
    https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/02/police-beat-man-in-diabetic-shock-and-nevada-city-pays-for-it
    https://kobi5.com/news/local-news/police-beating-caught-on-camera-18146/

  8. On September 28, 2021 at 9:09 am, Mike Austin said:

    Is there anyone who police will not beat? Is there any dog that police will not kill? Is there any law that police will obey? Is there any man who is safe among the police? Is there any court that will bring them to justice?

    If you answered “No” to all the above questions, then you passed the class.

  9. On September 28, 2021 at 2:22 pm, Paul B said:

    The enforcement arm of an increasing regal, in their minds, legal system. We are very close to having a king and we all know how that worked last time. Or maybe not. Other than the web sites I am not seeing anything about some kind of push back going on.

  10. On September 28, 2021 at 9:40 pm, Michael (from Utah) said:

    @Show Me –

    I don’t know where you live, but out my way, I see A LOT of people who either drive with headphones on, or earbuds in their ears, effectively blocking out most outside sounds. (Yes, it’s illegal to do that here).

    Frankly, I’d take the deaf person driving over these clowns because the deaf person already knows they have to be doubly cautious since they’re short one sense.

    The folks with the earbuds/headphones on just flat-out don’t care.

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