Politicians Are Poody Heads

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Deaf Woman Tasered

on August 28, 2012

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.

Sign the Care2 petition to

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!

6 responses to “Deaf Woman Tasered

  1. Lisa Johnson says:

    The Tacoma PD has made me dislike and distrust police exponentially. I lived in Tacoma for a few years. Moved from there a couple years ago.

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  3. GaryB says:

    On January 27 2012 I had the misfortune of being pulled over by the Tacoma Police Department.
    I don’t generally go out to often as I am hearing impaired, suffer from depression due to my hearing loss and I just can’t communicate well in a social setting.
    On that night I drank a couple of beers meaning two and half and then wanted to leave and go home as I just wasn’t enjoying myself and couldn’t hear anything people where asking me, just people being nice and trying to strike up conversation. I just get tired of asking people to repeat themselves and still can’t understand even though I have learned to read lips to a certain extent.
    On the way home I was stopped.
    The officer claims he smelled alcohol and then asked to do some tests.
    I consented to testing for DUI and told the officer I was having an extremely hard time hearing him and that I was extremely hard of hearing.
    My hearing was further impaired due to the traffic, his looking away while addressing me, and just not caring to speak any louder than he cared to.
    The officers, as now there is about six of them now, wow, did one thing right they wrote a number of times on their reports that I kept saying I couldn’t hear them and that I claimed I was hard of hearing. But I seemed to hear just fine as long as they spoke loud enough, funny.
    His test was to run a flash light across my eyes and then handcuffed me and off to jail where I stayed for only twelve hours, unlike LaShonn’s three days.
    The officers report stated that it was obvious I was extremely impaired, and oh so right he was however not like he suspected as I am 100% impaired daily, because while attempting to give me directions for the HGN test I could not follow his simple directions, such as to look at the light and don’t move my head.
    Well, when I hear someone speak, I always have to look directly at the person and try to read lips in order to understand what I’m being told.
    I am always particularly scared when around police to begin with and especially here in Tacoma WA. as they have a history of excessive abuses of their police powers.
    I am 100% disabled and another of the officer’s observances was how bad I was staggering, well if you had the spinal condition I do and the damage done to my legs, you just might walk a bit funny also.
    The so called field sobriety forms that police use to gather evidence were blank. The interview sheet an officer would use that would have informed him of my disabilities was completely blank.
    When I got to jail, I was given a pin number to use with a phone to call someone, but at 56 years old, my eyes aren’t so good either and I didn’t have my reading glasses so an inmate helped me dial out and when my friend got on the phone I could hear absolutely nothing.
    Fortunately for me, I had another disabled friend in the car at the time, so people where coming to my rescue, but I didn’t know as none of my friends are wealthy as Social Security or some of the other financial means my friends have leaves a bail situation a expensive prospect, but they massed together and got me out twelve hours later.
    So today is November 27th and I have been fighting this case since I was arrested.
    Thanks to Ms. LaShonn Whites story I was given the RCW about the ASL requirement and another situation with these police was while at the police station and under arrest for DUI there is another form called the informed consent which is generally read to you and you are then asked if you understand and then generally you are to sign this form.
    I don’t recall this form and when I was given a copy, it stated if I understood what the form said, and the officer wrote “yep” and then signed my name as “handcuffed”, wow.
    Now thanks to LaShonn’s unfortunate circumstance I know what I also need to do.
    My fear is what will Tacoma’s tri-fecta be?
    Someone who is impaired shot to death?
    That would be a more probable than not case scenario.
    I see LaShonn’s case is now filed in District Court and according to an attorney comment the suit is 4.5 million. I hope she gets every penny as you really have to experience this as a disable person to really get the feel for just how bad this is.
    Sincerely angry disabled person,

  4. zorbear says:

    As much as I dislike and distrust lawyers, I admit to using them when the occasion arises. You might want to consider doing the same. I realize you probably think you don’t have the resources, but if your case is as well-documented as it seems, there are always lawyers who will take the case on a percentage basis.

    Good luck.

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