Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lawsuit over Police Beating

A deaf man's lawsuit against a Minnesota County may be settled today. Douglas Bahl sued the Ramsey County and city of St. Paul for jailing him without access to an interpreter. A judge dismissed Bahl's federal lawsuit against the city, which he has appealed. In the meantime, the Ramsey County Commission will vote on a proposed settlement at today's commission meeting. The specifics have not been made public. It all started five years ago, when police stopped Bahl for running a red light. When he tried to communicate that he was deaf, officers sprayed him with mace and hit him. The policemen blame Bahl for starting the confrontation, saying he hit and bit one of them. But the officer's written account indicates show they were frustrated that Bahl did not "speak" with them and they failed to grasp that Bahl was deaf during the altercation. Then Bahl spent nearly four days in the Ramsey County Jail without the knowledge of his family. He says deputies wouldn't get him an interpreter. The sheriff says he offered Bahl a TTY phone the first day but he wanted to send an email to his family. Bahl says the next three days he was not provided an interpreter or allowed access to TTY. His first court appearance was even put off because Ramsey County authorities failed to provide him with an interpreter. Bahl ultimately was convicted of a misdemeanor. The Sheriff’s office says conditions have improved since the incident.

7 comments:

Yvonne Hafer said...

This is bullshit ! I would go after someone if they treated my son, daughter-in-law or granddaughter like this ! Hell we should all speak up about this because we all know someone who can't speak or speak English ! Damn them cops !!

Lu said...

All polices and sheriffs are supposed to be update with Deaf issues as nowdays are no longer having ttys, having these video-phones. There're much more need to be improve in this area! Deaf people really not need any of these kind of beats for any reasons, no matter if they're out of controls! If they're out of controls, this must wait till settle down first as clam down before can do their actions!

janice said...

I remember about a story about him in past. That is sad how police not treat nice to him.
If he was a my friend. I would have sue police and etc.
He needs help! Help! He cannot make a any call. UNfair to hearing.
Please help Deaf guy to get a lawyer and interpreter.
Who lived his town and please Interpreter come down talk to him.

Anonymous said...

And the pigs wonder why we call them pigs. There needs to be a mandatory IQ tests for cops and if they fall below the standard for a police officer, they should not only be fired, they also should be refused to be hired as well.

Anonymous said...

Every police department in our country which serves a population over 100,000 should be expected to hire a community liasion to work on Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, sensitivity training, and community relations. This kind of stuff happens too often, including numerous Deaf people who were shot or tasered to death because they didn't respond to verbal commands from police.

rcawda said...

hi this is mr ashlock and my wife is deaf and her dad is retired police in virginia so we know that my wife her dad would like to help the but he is retired anyway. i been seeing the officers policemen and make me feel bad but they (people) should go to right place and right time. hopefully bahl will win....

Anonymous said...

Shame on them all, police judge Ramsey county and the City of St.Paul! He was assaulted AND then his rights were further violated. I hope he is granted the appeal!!