Deaf Man Claims Two Police Officers Attacked Him After Not Understanding Their Commands
A deaf man from Colorado couldn’t understand police officers’ commands, but he was then attacked and arrested, his lawyer has claimed.
Brady Mistic was sentenced to four months in jail for second-degree assault on a police officer and resisting arrest following the incident on September 17, 2019.
He’s now suing officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers, the city of Idaho Springs, and the Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners. Mistic is also seeking compensation for physical and emotional harm, and pain and suffering.
Just after 7.30pm on the day of the incident, officers believed Mistic had failed to stop at a stop sign prior to parking at the laundromat. He wasn’t aware police had followed him, so he continued to get out of the car and walk towards the building, the lawsuit says.
‘As Mr. Mistic exited his car and walked past a dumpster in between his vehicle and the police vehicle, toward the laundry door, he was blinded by police vehicle lights and/or a spotlight shone by the officers. He had no idea what was happening, what the police were doing, or if the officers’ presence had anything to do with him,’ it continues, as per NBC News.
In a bid to communicate with the officers, he used sign language in lieu of being able to write something on paper. However, without ‘warning or attempt to communicate’, the lawsuit says Hanning threw Mistic to the ground, where his head hit the concrete.
‘Defendant Hanning pinned Mr. Mistic to the ground on his back while Mr. Mistic held his hands out with his palms facing defendant Hanning in an attempt to show that he meant no harm and was doing nothing to threaten the officer. On the ground, defendant Summers joined in, grabbing Mr. Mistic… defendant Summers pulled out her Taser and drive stunned Mr. Mistic,’ it claims.
Mistic said ‘no ears’ to the officers to try and indicate he was deaf, but ‘defendant Summers ignored Mr. Mistic’s plea and then tased Mr. Mistic a second time’, the lawsuit alleges.
The Idaho Springs Police Department has defended the officers. ‘The officers gave verbal commands for Mr. Mistic to get back in his vehicle. It was later determined Mr. Mistic was deaf, but this fact was not known to the officers during the initial encounter,’ a statement read.
‘Officers then directed Mr. Mistic to sit down. At one point officers attempted to gain control of Mr. Mistic by placing him into handcuffs due to his unexplained actions. Mr. Mistic resisted the officers, and a physical altercation took place.’
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