Driving While Deaf

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For more information, go to https://www.aclu.org/deafrights

In January 2014, Pearl Pearson, age 64, was pulled over by Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers. He says he signaled he was deaf and placed his hands on the steering wheel when state patrolmen brutally assaulted him for not following verbal orders he couldn’t hear. The district attorney announced that the patrolmen involved would not be charged for this brutal attack on the same day that he charged Pearson—who has two sons who are police officers—with resisting arrest.

The footage from this video is actual video of what happened to Pearson that night in January.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. When police officers don’t realize deaf and hard of hearing people can’t hear them, it has led to police officers brutally assaulting deaf people and other tragedies.

We are calling on the Department of Justice to conduct trainings with local police departments on how to better interact with the deaf and hard of hearing.

For more information, go to https://www.aclu.org/deafrights

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