A deaf African American man with a cognitive disorder that has left him with an IQ of a 10 year old child, was tasered repeatedly in a bathroom at a local Alabama store by police.
An unidentified store employee/owner called police after they felt Antonio Love had been in the bathroom “too long.” Accordingly to early reports, they did not attempt to assess the situation themselves, ie by knocking on the door or calling out. If they had, they might have given Love the opportunity to present his certified deaf/mentally challenged card that he carriers to help identify his limitations to able bodied people.
Police were unaware of the man’s abilities as the parents were not alerted after the police were called and no further attempts were made to check on him. So police misinterpreted the man’s attempt to protect himself from predators by barring his bathroom stall as an act of aggression and dumped pepper spray in his stall.
Upon opening the stall, they tasered him. According to his report, he was tased repeatedly and in multiple places, which would have required police to have gotten the door open and seen that they were attacking a defenseless man.
The Chief of police claims that the officers actions were justified b/c there was an umbrella on the floor and an umbrella is “a weapon.” Never mind that the umbrella was on the floor, the man made no move to reach for it, and they had already sprayed the inside of the stall with pepper spray prior to noticing the umbrella.
Love also claims officers laughed at him when they discovered that he was deaf, but since there are no witnesses it is his word against theirs.
Ultimately, THE OFFICERS CHARGED HIM WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT FOR USING THE BATHROOM TOO LONG AND BEING UNABLE TO COMPREHEND THEIR INSTRUCTIONS. The charges were later dropped when a judge refused to issue a warrant.
read more here
the News Report (includes Police Spokesperson’s story)
Response from the deaf community