Police allegedly tase, beat deaf man unconscious, lawsuit filed
Police officers in California are at the center of an investigation after striking a deaf man with a taser.
Jonathan Meister was loading boxes into his car in front of a friend’s home when Hawthorne police were told about a possible burglary at the home on Feb. 13.
The officers told Meister to stop loading the boxes but because he was deaf, Meister did not hear the police officers’ commands. Officers Jeffrey Salmon, Jeffrey Tysl, Erica Bristow, and Mark Hultgren didn’t realize Meister wasn’t responding because he had a disability.
Meister tried to use sign language to communicate with police and one of the officers mistook his hand motions for aggressive force.
Meister was allegedly punched, kicked and shot twice with a taser before the police beat him unconscious.
Cops then took Meister to the hospital for treatment; charging him with assaulting a police officer. The charges were later dropped, but now Meister has filed a lawsuit against the department.
In the lawsuit, Meister claims that police violated his rights as a disabled person under the American with Disabilities Act.
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