An innocent deaf woman in Tacoma, Washington says that police shocked her with a Taser and then put her in jail for almost three days with no interpreter after she called 911 to report a guest had attacked her in her own apartment.
Lashonn White told KIRO that she called 911 on April 6 with the help of a certified American Sign Language interpreter.
“I said, ‘Please hurry! There’s a person here beating me up,’” White recalled.
Tacoma Police Officers Ryan Koskovich and Michael Young arrived at the apartment complex about six minutes later. Police records obtained by KIRO showed that both officers had been repeatedly informed that White was deaf.
At the officers’ request, 911 told White to go outside the building, but when she ran towards Koskovich, he pulled his Taser and fired electric probes into her 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 explained. Photographs showed that White also suffered injuries to her cheek, chin, ribs, neck and arms.
“The next thing I know, they took me to jail,” she said. “Told me to stand up, you’re going to jail. I said, ‘What? What have I done?’ I couldn’t figure it out. I had no idea what was going on.”
This story is wrong on so many levels! She is running TO the cops she had just called, who had been informed that she was deaf. They think she is running to ATTACK THEM. She is Tased, arrested, then thrown in jail and left there for days without an interpreter to tell her what is going on. They were TOLD that the caller was deaf, they can see after they interact with her that she IS deaf, and therefore the person who called…why did they add insult to injury by arresting her and then LEAVING her for days? It is also obvious that they falsified their reports to cover their own asses. State law says the following:
“RCW 2.42.120 (4)requires law enforcement agencies conducting an investigation to “appoint and pay for a qualified interpreter throughout the investigation.
RCW 2.42.120 (5) states “If a hearing impaired person is arrested for an alleged violation of a criminal law, the arresting officer or the officer’s supervisor shall, at the earliest possible time, procure and arrange payment for a qualified interpreter for any notification of rights, warning, interrogation, or taking of a statement. No employee of the law enforcement agency who has responsibilities other than interpreting may be appointed as a qualified interpreter.”
THIS is an instance of blatant disregard for the rule of law. Let’s sit back and see if these officers and their superiors face any consequences for their actions. Don’t hold your breath, though…