View Full Version : Police throw deaf woman to the ground. Why? She wasn't LISTENING (video)

04-29-2008, 10:51 PM

Holy freaking shit.

One of my coworkers is at the ADAPT conference and just got this video of the cops throwing a deaf woman on the ground as she screams "I'm DEAF!"- because she didn't follow SPOKEN instructions. GAH!

Evil Queen
04-30-2008, 12:10 AM
:eek: What the hell is wrong with those officers?! Could they not HEAR how she was speaking?? Of course she was deaf! gah!


04-30-2008, 12:50 AM
I have to side with the police on this one. Yes, it may seem a little harsh, but according to the story, they were attemtping to hold McCain hostage by blocking all of the exits.

Yes, she was deaf but the police had no way to know that and cannot take the word of someone that they're arresting. If they did, the jails would be empty.

She was deaf and the police didn't understand that at that time, it is sad that it happened but don't forget, a lot of times a deaf person talking sounds like someone who is drunk (slurred speech, etc..). She was speaking fairly clearly for someone who is deaf but still.

The video is also (obviously) cut to only show what the page's point is (and taken by an ADAPT supporter). Who knows what events led up to that, I'd love to see the whole thing, if it exists.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
04-30-2008, 01:24 AM
I too wonder what led up to this. It doesn't look good but there are always two (at least) sides to every story.

04-30-2008, 02:43 AM
Draggar, McCain was actually in Tampa at the time- he was not inconvenienced directly. ADAPT was preventing some of his staff from leaving the office, in hopes of securing a meeting with McCain later in the spring to convince him to cosponsor a bill that would get people who want out of nursing homes the option of in home care- which is, by the way, cheaper for taxpayers. People - including adults who are not elderly but just disabled- on average live two years in nursing homes, and many times that amount with in-home caregiver services for the same conditions and disabilities.

Basically, from my coworker who shot the video, a group filed into the Senate offices and parked outside the office chanting, and handed aides inside the office a note demanding a meeting with McCain. This went on for a while before police showed up and arrested 22 people, most in wheelchairs. He was at a similar protest yesterday where there were only two arrests despite an entire building- not just one office- being blocked off by protesters, and according to him (and he's more reporter than activist, so I trust his explanation) the police yesterday handled things VERY well- versus police today showed up, started shouting, didn't give AMSLAN interpreters a chance to assist with deaf activists, and told everyone that anyone with ADAPT would be under arrest. Of course, out of the couple hundred on hand, only 22 did end up arrested, and they are expected to be released by the end of the evening.

I have a link from the Justice For All website here somewhere to the full info- or just google mccain's senate office disabled protesters arrested.

04-30-2008, 03:04 AM
You will normally see me side with the arrestee on anything that could remotely be something that might resemble some vague form of police abuse of an arrestee.

However, this video has some issues. Namely, when the video starts, the woman is on the ground. There is no footage of anything before hand. There is no footage of her being thrown to the ground. She's down, and screaming "I'm deaf!"

While down, she indicates that she is unable to understand them. It is very unlikely that the officers chose her, came up behind her, gave her verbal instructions, waited, and then took her to the floor. Far more likely is that the officer(s) in question were in front of her, which would have given her ample time to indicate an inability to understand them. The result would likely have been more peaceful, but not made for very good footage.

Finally, she speaks extremely clearly. That level of clarity is uncommon in those who are deaf from birth. Finally, understanding sign language is uncommon in those who are not deaf from birth. She is able to understand sign language, but incapable of sufficient lip reading to communicate with the officers. This is an extremely uncommon set of occurrences. Mind you, I could very much be wrong in my interpretation of this set of circumstances, but it does seem to me like something is off in this video.

Too much is implied. Not enough is shown. It's impossible for us to know enough from this video to even be certain the woman was thrown to the ground.

I wish I could take the woman's side, really I do. But, from that bit of video, I have to think that you just might have been had, Saydrah.

04-30-2008, 04:52 AM
It's pretty ableist to presume you can judge someone's hearing level by their level of speech. Are you deaf or hard of hearing? Do you regularly attend events focusing on the DHH community? Do you even know more than one or two deaf people?

I've met, worked with, gone to school with, and spoken with a variety of deaf people, and speaking clearly- an important job skill and life skill in a mostly hearing world- is extremely common no matter the level of hearing loss. Many hard of hearing people are able to hear in certain situations; say, a quiet room- and not in others, like a protest with screaming police. Also, many deaf people are lucky enough to have excellent speech language pathologists during childhood, who are able to teach speech that is clear to the hearing population even if the deaf child can't hear it herself. Rewarding and praising clear speech and teaching a child to feel how the mouth and throat are positioned when speaking clearly is possible even when the child is completely unable to hear even a single sound.

As far as the rest of your objections- think what you will. It's unfortunate the video wasn't longer, I agree; but between "stay longer and be arrested" and "get the hell outta Dodge and upload the video to the website" my coworker (one of the ones who DOESN'T get the coirker badge, as he has yet to irk!) chose the latter. What you don't see is right after the video camera was turned off, the police made noises about arresting HIM, too! Oh, well. You don't know D or that he's trustworthy, and you're not familiar with ADAPT- that's fine. Go google it if you want to know more. But point is, you can NOT judge someone's level of hearing loss from their speech. So much discrimination against people who are deaf happens JUST because of that- "Oh, you're lying, you speak so clearly, we don't need to accomodate your deafness." SCism in reverse.

04-30-2008, 04:58 AM
This thread's better for fratching.