Settlement reached in police abuse of deaf motorist


Reported in today’s news by UPI, a deaf motorist in St. Paul, MN will receive a settlement of $20,000 with $73,000 to go to Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.  According to the report the police officer responded to being notified the person was deaf by attacking him with an irritant spray and then brutalizing him with the help of other officers.

There were apparently other violations of his civil rights including being denied an interpreter while in jail which resulted in an earlier settlement.

Unfortunately, in the case of settlements there is often a hold-harmless clause which admits no wrong-doing.  There is no information as to whether the officers involved are still employed, whether there were sanctions against the officers or whether the police department is doing training regarding deaf citizens.

The last paragraph of the article states:  So far this year, the city has settled or is scheduled to settle two lawsuits totaling $267,500 stemming from allegations of police misconduct. Some $1.29 million was paid out in 2012 to settle lawsuits against the police, the city attorney’s office said.

Again, this points out the extreme need for training of the police in dealing with the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as the problem of police brutality.

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