Lashonn White, who is deaf, called the Tacoma police last April 6 because she was being attacked.
Lashonn White, a deaf woman, made a desperate call to the police from her home in Tacoma, Washington. With the help of her interpreter, White reached the 911 operator and said, “Please hurry! There’s a person here beating me up.”
Tacoma Police Officers Ryan Koskovich and Michael Young were told several times that White is deaf, yet they arrived on the scene without an interpreter or any necessary communication devices. When White rushed out to the balcony to meet the officers, she was immediately tasered in her ribs and stomach. A disoriented White had barely recovered from the taser’s shock before police arrested her for obstruction and assault of a civil servant.
White spent 60 hours in jail without an interpreter, which violates Washington law as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sadly, White’s story is just one instance in a long list of incidents where law enforcement officials have violated the rights of people with disabilities.
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Tell the Tacoma Police Department that all officers need to receive training concerning disabled individuals and to do a full investigation of the incident. Demand justice for Lashonn White!