Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers Accused of Beating Deaf Man for Not Obeying Orders
Two Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers pulled over Pearl Pearson, 64, after he allegedly left the scene of a minor traffic accident on Jan. 3 in Oklahoma City.
The troopers claim that Pearson resisted arrest and refused to comply with orders, but it's likely Pearson didn't hear those commands as he is deaf.
For reasons unknown, the troopers did not mention in their report that Pearson cannot hear.
According to Fox 4, Pearson has a sign in his car that states he is deaf.
Pearson ended up beaten with swollen eyes after the seven minute altercation, which may be a case of police brutality.
"My client is completely innocent of these allegations," Pearl’s attorney, Billy Coyle, told KFOR. "We are waiting on the OHP report and we are sorting through the facts of the case. My client is profoundly deaf and was trying to give officers his specialty license during the stop”.
A website apparently belonging to Pearson states: “Pearson was pulled over and rolled down his window, expecting an officer to ask for this identification. An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything.”
The two Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers, Eric Foster and Kelton Hayes, were suspended with pay while the incident is investigated.
“We can confirm the arrest and charges were filed for leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest," Lt. Brian Orr, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said in a statement yesterday.
"The case went to the Oklahoma County District Attorney and any details of this case will have to come from the DA’s office," added Lt. Orr. "We will review the arrest administratively and if it is determined there were violations of department policy, we will take appropriate action.”
The group Total Source for Hearing Loss and Access, TSHA, is holding a fundraiser for Pearson in Tulsa, Okla. this Thursday.
TSHA provides services for the hearing-impaired and is accepting donations for Pearson's legal and medical expenses.
TSHA has not accused the troopers of abusing Pearson.