Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Police Brutality Against the Deaf Needs to Stop Now!

We have seen so many physical and verbal abuse reports from the Deaf people all over the country. Majority of the abuse is related to lack of communication. Most law enforcement personnel have no patience in communicating with the Deaf ,even, writing down on paper, also hand gestures.

Ricky Taylor (ridorlive.com) has expressed his lack of trust for law enforcement officers. Taylor's reasons are valid and we have seen too many Rodney King scenarios against the Deaf people in general.

At the deafdc.com there is also a discussion related to law enforcement issues and one prominent writer has expressed his concerns and fears in case he gets pulled over by a law enforcement officer. One little misunderstanding will be impossible to rectify because dead people cannot talk.

A lot of police officers have killed Deaf people in the United States even most of them knew they were Deaf. Law enforcement officers assume that signing to them is a threat and they get into fight and flee mode. They have little or no training on how to communicate using gestures or sign language.

I noticed fear has been emerging because of historical facts law enforcement personnel all over the country are being shown with videos of them beating up on unarmed civilians. Most law enforcement officers that have been charged with brutality remains employed within the law enforcement sectors.

It appears that most law enforcement officers only have high school education and passed the law enforcement training academy. This is scary because the less educated law enforcement officer are most likely to use violence to use their anger to control unarmed civilians. The motto, “To Protect and to Serve” no longer applies to the majority of Deaf people in the United States.

Deaf people cannot trust the police when they needed help and fears instead they will summon a hearing person so they can call for help. Hearing person speaks the same language as the law enforcement people do. Deaf people communicate through American Sign Language. What I do not understand is why, “cops are afraid of sign language?”

What needs to be done now is to get, “The National Association of the Deaf, (NAD)” to host a press conference outside of NAD building and explain to the nation this police brutality has gone too far and suggest that NAD work with the national law enforcement organizations to find solutions to this ongoing nationwide problem.

They need to add training for new law enforcement recruits on how to communicate and deal with Deaf and hard of hearing people.

This is a serious topic and I think NAD should consider doing a press conference as this is a Deaf Awareness month also a good time to spread the message.


Ridor said...

Well said. Something has to be done, really. Hope the NAD can do something about it as soon as possible. But I can say that the MADC is going to do something about it -- just wait and see.



abc said...

Mr Hardy.. You said, "A lot of police officers have killed Deaf people in the United States even most of them knew they were Deaf."

A lot??? I remember only 1 case of a Deaf man being killed in Detroit, and he was high on crack as well as alcohol, and swinging a rake at the officers. In that situation, the police could have used other tactics than deadly force, but he was not killed because he was Deaf. He was killed because he was a threat to his son and the police officers.

Are there other cases of the police killing Deaf people unnecessarily?

The police have a VERY dangerous job. They constantly deal with deadly situations, and they need to PROTECT - the public and themselves. I don't excuse using excessive force, but I don't blame the cops for being cautious when approaching an unknown person who doesn't communicate in the way they expect.

Yes, more education needs to happen, and Deaf people need to protest excessive force and violence, but we also need to understand the position of the police. I wouldn't want to try to make a split second decision about life and death myself, and I must trust that the cops usually make the right decision... but not always.

OCDAC said...

Deafread isnt publishing our blog post on the free deaf motorist kits we've been passing out since 2003.