Similar case: "Cops Allegedly Beat Deaf Senior Citizen For 7 Minutes!"
In a federal complaint for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Jonathan Meister claims the attack could have been avoided had Hawthorne trained its police officers to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing.
Officers confronted him on Feb. 13 outside a friend's home as he picked up a snowboard and winter clothes for a trip to Utah, Meister says in the lawsuit. Meister says he used hand gestures to try to tell police he is deaf and was lawfully at the home. The cops were having none of it. They
Officers kicked and punched him in the back and stomach, choked and Tasered him, delivering "punishing shocks" and intentionally "burning his flesh," Meister claims.
He says four defendant officers took part in the attack: Jeffrey Salmon, Jeffrey Tysl, Erica Bristow and Mark Hultgren.
After he was knocked unconscious and taken to a hospital, he was cited for assaulting the officers and released, but the charges were dropped.
Meister seeks statutory, treble and punitive damage for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, and civil rights violations. Also named as defendants are the City of Hawthorne, its Police Department and Police Chief Robert Fager. Meister is represented by John Burton of Pasadena.
Hawthorne is part of Greater Los Angeles, between Manhattan Beach and Compton.
Numerous, similar lawsuits have been filed across the country, in which police beat and arrested diabetics suffering from insulin shock, believing, or claiming to believe, that they were drunk.