Jonathan Meister, who is deaf, claims that he was beat and tased by four Hawthorne, Calif. police officers on Feb. 13, 2013.
The alleged incident began when Meister was getting some belongings that he stored in the backyard of a friend’s home when a neighbor saw him and yelled.
Meister didn’t respond because of his deafness, so the neighbor then called the cops, notes the Daily Breeze.
According to the police report, the area had experienced some burglaries, so when police officers arrived they thought Meister was the burglar.
When Meister saw the police officers, he put down the boxes and gestured that he was deaf.
When the deaf man approached the police officers, they grabbed his wrists and turned him around.
A struggled ensued and Meister was tased multiple times by the police officers, who were trying to handcuff him.
According to Courthouse News, Meister was knocked unconscious, taken to a local hospital and charged with assault.
Police described him as “increasingly more aggressive and violent” in their report, but dropped the charges and released Meister later that day.
The Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness has filed a lawsuit on behalf Meister that claims the Hawthorne police violated his civil rights under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and used unnecessary aggression.
The lawsuit also claims that Hawthorne police are not trained to deal with deaf suspects and lack translator services for the deaf.