On Tuesday, NBC News reported that two police officers in Idaho Springs, Colorado are being sued by a deaf man who claims they assaulted and wrongfully imprisoned him for four months after he was unable to comply with their verbal commands.
"Brady Mistic said he was wrongfully jailed for four months over the Sept. 17, 2019 incident. He's now suing Officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers, as well as the city of Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners," reported Minyvonne Blake. "The suit, filed this month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, says the incident began just after 7:30 p.m. with Mistic allegedly running a stop sign before he pulled into the parking lot of a laundry mat. Unaware that police had followed him into the parking lot, Mistic exited his vehicle and began walking toward the laundromat, according to the lawsuit."
The suit further alleges that Mistic attempted to communicate with officers in American Sign Language, but "warning or attempt to communicate," Officer Hanning then grabbed Mistic and threw him against the concrete before pinning him to the ground on his back.
The Idaho Springs Police Department said in a statement, "The officers gave verbal commands for Mr. Mistic to get back in his vehicle. It was later determined Mr. Mistic was deaf, but this fact was not known to the officers during the initial encounter."
Lawsuits against police acting in the course of their duties can be tremendously difficult because of the doctrine of qualified immunity, which the Supreme Court has extended to a broad scope of police conduct. A bipartisan effort earlier this year to reform policing, which included some new restrictions on qualified immunity, was defeated by Republicans.