Here is a story that reminds us that if we want protection, we had better supply our own.
A deaf woman in Tacoma was being attacked by another woman in her apartment. She called 9-11 on the deaf line. She asked for police protection.
The police arrived six minutes later. The dispatcher says the police were repeatedly told the woman was deaf. Internal police records confirm this.
When she ran toward them, they used tasers on her. Then the handcuffed her. Then they took her to jail, where she stayed for the next 60 hours.
The story was covered up for months, but then a local TV reporter got tipped off. He began an investigation. That’s when the truth came out.
Within seconds of running outside to meet police, Officer Koskovich pulled his Taser and fired a two-barbed electric wire into White’s ribs and stomach.
“All I’m doing is waving my hands in the air, and the next thing I know, I’m on the ground and then handcuffed. It was almost like I blacked out. I was so dizzy and disoriented,” White said.
Witnesses confirm her story.
The policeman and his partner submitted nearly identical stories.
Koskovich wrote in part: “I yelled for White to ‘stop’ and held my right hand up to signal for White to stop. White ignored my commands.”
A neighbor intervened.
“I hollered down and said, ‘She’s deaf and can’t speak!’”
Sims says she went down to the street and spoke with officers while Lashonn was still in handcuffs. She told us during an on-camera interview that the police officers at the scene admitted there was a misunderstanding.
Then they took her to jail and left her locked up.
Another winess said:
“They just told her to halt. She kept running, she can’t hear—she’s deaf. I said, ‘Aren’t you supposed to say halt like that?’” asked Warren holding up her right hand.
Tacoma police arrested Lashonn on two criminal charges, simple assault and obstruction of a public servant (law enforcement officer). Then they carted her off to jail. She spent 60 hours there – also without an interpreter – before a city prosecutor reviewed her case and asked that charges not be filed at all.
She was not provided with an interpreter. But an interpreter is required by state law.
The two officers have refused to tell their side of the story to the media. So has the police department.
No one was disciplined.
It has been six weeks.
Stonewalling usually works.
Buy a gun. Learn how to use it.