CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Police Brutality and Deaf People"

From the ACLU Blog of Rights:

Many deaf people use their eyes and hands to communicate, as opposed to hearing people who more often rely on their ears and voice. Body language and facial expression are key components of sign language. As such, it is not uncommon for people who communicate through sign to create a bit of space between themselves and the other person to ensure that the receiver has full view of the hands, body and face. Officers who misunderstand these and other key components of Deaf culture and communication, may feel threatened and choose to retaliate against a deaf person. When police departments ensure that officers are aware of and sensitive to varied modes of communication used by deaf people, this will not only protect the deaf community, but also increase the safety of officers.

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