Wednesday, July 29, 2009

African-American Deaf Man Tased, Pepper Sprayed by Mobile, Alabama Police

Families of special needs children must become a much more vocal part of the struggle against vicious police attacks! (Video of Victim/Family at site)
Deaf man tased, pepper sprayed

Tuesday, 28 Jul 2009, 8:39 AM CDT

MOBILE, Ala. - Antonio Love's family members say Mobile police went too far. "Tony," as he is known, said he was sick and went into a store to use the restroom. The store manager called Mobile police after Love had been in the room for a while. If police knocked on the door or called for him, he had no way of knowing. Love is deaf.

Love's brother interpreted as he described what happened. His brother interpreted for him. "He saw smoke. He said, 'What's that smell?' He started putting water on the floor and tissue trying to block the smoke out. He put water on his mouth and face and started to hold his breath."

What Love described was pepper spray. Police sprayed it under the door before breaking the door down. Love said he had no idea what was going on as the smoke poured in and the bashed-in door hit him in the head.

Things quickly went from bad to worse. His brother translated, "Tased him in his chest. He was shaking saying, 'Stop! Stop!' He couldn't move. They dragged him from the bathroom to the front."

Love was tased three times. He said police didn't realize he was deaf until they got him outside the store. That's when they looked in his wallet and found a card detailing his handicap. Love said an EMT was dispatched, and after he was checked out, he was then put into the back of a police car and taken to Metro jail where he sat until police finally took him home later that afternoon.

The incident happened around 11:00 a.m., and when he was returned home, it was 4:00 in the afternoon. He was never arrested. Love's mom doesn't understand.

"He asked them to stop. He tried to say, 'I'm deaf. I'm deaf,' and they still did it. Looking at my son now it hurts. I just want justice. I want them to pay for what they did to my son," said Phyllis Love.

There are many unanswered questions about this incident such as why was Love taken to Metro jail. Was he provided a translator? Also, did store employees know Love was deaf?

Mobile police confirmed an investigation is now in progress. They also said they couldn't discuss the incident.

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