What do you expect from a deaf man – hear when you shout stop!? Oklahoma police descended on Pearl Pearson, a deaf black man and beat him up to the point his eyes turned red and he was admitted to the hospital for ignoring a warning he could not hear.
According to the Huffington Posts, “Pearl pulled over and rolled down his window, expecting an officer to ask for his identification,” the website states. “An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything. He was said to have been struck multiple times.”
The website alleges Pearson, who is deaf and diabetic, has a placard on his driver’s side door that says, “Driver is deaf.” His license also allegedly indicates he is deaf.
“An interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement,” the website states. “Not during the booking, hospital, or time at the jail was an interpreter provided, even though Pearl requested one.”
Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman George Brown told HuffPost that troopers Eric Foster and Kelton Hayes have been placed on suspension with pay.
“An internal investigation is being conducted,” Brown said. “If it is determined there were any violations of department policy, the appropriate action will be taken.”
The troopers stopped Pearson because he allegedly fled the scene of a car accident in South Oklahoma City. When they stopped him, he “resisted Trooper Foster and Trooper Hayes … [and] refused to comply with repeated lawful orders to display his hands,” according to a police affidavit.
“A physical altercation ensued for approximately seven minutes,” the affidavit states.
The document does not indicate whether the troopers were aware Pearson is hearing impaired.
Pearson was taken into custody at the scene and ultimately charged for resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident.