Sunday, July 21, 2013

Update on Police Using "Excessive Force" on "frail" deaf man

Last year we told you about an investigation that found a Canadian police officer used excessive force on a sick, deaf man in a small Alberta town. You can read about it here. Bill Berry was trying to pay a ticket at the courthouse in the town Red Deer, about 100 miles north of Calgary. Officer Thomas Bounds approached Berry, telling Berry he had entered through an exit door and would have to go back out and come in again, through the proper screening entrance. Bounds ignored Berry's attempts to communicate that he is deaf and didn't understand the order - and couldn't speak because Berry had his larynx removed because of cancer. The policeman piked up Berry and put him outside--you can see what happened in the video below. Berry collapsed because Bounds had knocked out a tube in Berry's neck through which Berry breaths. A policeman eventually figured out what was wrong and re-inserted the tube. Bounds later said Berry had waved his arms, which he took as an aggressive move and that he thought Berry might attack other people in the room. However, a video of the confrontation showed otherwise. The 118 pound grandfather says he suffered numerous injuries including multiple contusion. A police investigation verified the use of excessive force, calling Berry "frail." Now, he's filed a $1.5 million lawsuit.