CALIFORNIA– A man has filed a lawsuit against police officers after he claims they beat him when they misunderstood his sign language for threatening gestures.
CBS Los Angeles reports the man was getting something out of his ex-roommate’s home. Someone had called police, saying it looked suspicious and that’s when officers confronted him.
He says he was placed in handcuffs, beaten and shocked with a stun gun.
The man, who is “profoundly deaf,” according to CBS Los Angeles, said the officers didn’t realize they took away his means of communication when they cuffed him.
Police said they recognized early on that he was deaf and said he tried to resist.
A statement from police to CBS Los Angeles said, in part: “Officers make every effort to communicate effectively…In almost all cases, it is the person’s behavior and actions who we contact that dictate police response rather than the communication barriers present. That is certainly the case in this specific matter…”