Police justify use of taser on deaf man — he was armed with an umbrella

The Raw Story

Antonio Love, age 37, a deaf man with the mental capacity of a 10 year old, was shopping in a dollar store when he began to feel sick to his stomach.  He went into the bathroom and sat down in a stall.  A report was made to the store management that someone had been in a stall for over an hour — how anyone would know how long he was in there, I don’t know.

The police were summoned, and they called for the person in the stall to come out, and banged on the door.  Mr Love was frightened, and tried to hold the door shut, so the police shot pepper spray under the door.

“The police arrive General Dollar and throw poison through under the door,” Love’s note continued. “I can smell poison and I’m amazing and shock.”

Love turned the water on to wash the irritating chemicals off his face.

“Then I’m think someone gone.”

Apparently the police went to get a tire iron to force the door.  At this point, Mr Love still does not know it was the police trying to get through the door — he thought it was “the devil.”

“Then again someone knock knock,” the note reads. “My head hold door, and my hand put hold lock the door. I spit poison with water. Someone hit hard hard.”

The officers broke into the room.

“I’m almost fall and surprise the police here. The police get the tazz three strings in my stomach, chest and hand and hit my head. I’m falled.”

The police hauled Mr Love to the station and tried to charge him with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and failure to obey a police officer — but the Magistrate refused to accept the charges.

The Mobile police say the arrest was justified:

Deadly weapon?

Deadly weapon?

“A spokesman for the Mobile Police Department said the officers’ actions were justified because the man was armed with a potential weapon — an umbrella.”

The police then drove Mr Love home, which took a while because he had difficulty giving them directions.  Rest-assured, the police took time to laugh at him and tell him he was crazy.  Then they dropped him at his door and sped off — without letting his family know what had happened to him.

No credentialed translator was made available to Mr Love, and he was not read or shown his rights at the time of arrest.

The police are supposed to “protect and serve” the people, not humiliate and arrest them for sitting in a bathroom stall while deaf and mentally challenged.

Since the incident, Love’s family said, he hasn’t been himself. He’s been scared of anyone in a police uniform, they said.

The disabled are at the world’s mercy on a good day, and now Mr Love is afraid of the only people outside of his family he might have depended on for help.

I’ll say it — the Mobile police acted stupidly.

7 thoughts on “Police justify use of taser on deaf man — he was armed with an umbrella

  1. Ok, I admit it, this pisses me off. And terrifies me.

    As the mother of an adult son with a developmental disability, I have dreaded possible encounters between him and the police.

    For heaven’s sake, this man was sitting in a bathroom stall, minding his own business and his tummy, and he’s pepper sprayed, tasered, humiliated, arrested, and then dumped on his doorstep alone.

    My son abides by the laws — like Mr Love and Mr Gates — but he’s got a mouth on him. He would not go quietly if he thought (or knew) he was being falsely arrested.


  2. Sadly, this is what the last 30 years has given us. Be pure, be bright or suffer the consequences. There is little leeway in law enforcement. Act like a normal human or get stomped.

    Be perfect or be toast. Welcome to a good Xtian Amurica.

    • And the cops define “normal.”

      After the Navy, my dad was a lawyer, and later a Judge. My youngest sister works in probation and parole. I worked as a legal secretary for years, and in the court clerk’s office for a short time — that’s when I realized I have issues with our legal system.

      The legal system is supposed to keep track of the bad guys, help us resolve our disputes, and protect the rights of the citizens — not squash us like bugs for stepping outside some subjective idea of normal.

  3. Zooey,
    Isn’t that a beach umbrella in the pic? You should have grabbed a photo of one of those collapsable things instead. I could harpoon a whale with a beach umbrella, but, it would be difficult in the confines of even a handicapped stall. 🙄 In all seriousness, Alabama needs to initiate some sensitivity training for its police force. A simple snap of the fingers out of the sight of a suspect can determine whether a suspect is deaf or not.

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