Oklahoma Highway Police Accused Of Beating Elderly Deaf Man For Failing To Respond To Oral Commands

pearlpearson_KFORPolice in Oklahoma highway police are facing questions this week after beating an elderly deaf Oklahoma man, Pearl Pearson, 64, after he allegedly refused to comply with their orders during a routine traffic stop.

Police say that Pearson left the scene of a minor automobile accident and was pulled over on January 3rd. They say that they verbally ordered Pearson from their cruiser to show his hands and did not do so.

Pearson had a large sign on his driver’s door stating, “Driver is deaf.” However, he says that the police ran up to the car and started hitting him in the face as he tried to show them an identification card explaining that he is deaf.

He was arrested for resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident. He says that he was then denied a sign interpreter which he was in jail and has never been given such an interpreter to speak with police at the hospital or at the jail.

What is also interesting is that Pearl’s son is a police officer as is his son-in-law — a fact that his family say that he is unlikely to ever resist police.

While I can understand the arrest for leaving the scene, there are obviously a host of questions as to how the police handled this pull over stop on the highway. I am equally concerned with the alleged absence of an interpreter in such a case when police have beaten a man to the point of requiring hospital treatment. I am not sure how the hospital was able to address those injuries without such an interpreter.

News reports also state that the police affidavit made no mention whether or not the troopers realized Pearson was deaf. That would seem a pretty relevant issue for a police report.

Kudos: Michael Blott

34 thoughts on “Oklahoma Highway Police Accused Of Beating Elderly Deaf Man For Failing To Respond To Oral Commands

  1. The cops are fortunate that some relative does not shoot and kill them when they are taking out the garbage this morning.

  2. With stories of unwarranted police brutality appearing on at least a weekly basis, many of them making it to Professor Turley’s blog, one wonders if state, county, and municipal police forces set aside “stupidity funds” in their budgets in expectation of future lawsuit settlements over these sorts of episodes rather than do what would seem to be the easier course of action – weeding out the bad seeds.

    It’s an analogous mentality to that which caused Ford Motor Company in the 1970s to do a financial analysis of correcting exploding gas tanks in Pintos vs. the cost of lawsuits and settlements as a result of not fixing the defective tanks and opting for the latter. The obvious difference is that Ford’s actions involved only its own money. The police entities use taxpayer money to cover their bungling behavior.

  3. From Jonathan Turley’s “Al Franken” posting, today:

    “Of course, if this is true, Justice Brandeis warned us years ago:

    Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

    Another example of trickle-down torture, IMO. A lot of angry folks out there, including cops.

  4. This is terrible….. Mike A…. Maybe you can get the case and go pro hoc vice…… It just sounds like it’s going to be a good CYA…. All the way….

  5. Reading a sign takes time, and taking that time would endanger the officer’s life. An officer’s safety and that of his partner is his first responsibility, so not taking the time to read the sign, but instead beating the crap out of the guy for non-conpliance was the correct thing for the officer to do. We cannot have citizens walking around with signs about how police should treat them, and expecting police to endanger their own lives by taking the time to read those signs before making an arrest.

    Yes, I am being farcial, but I have more than once heard an offer say that his own safety is his first responsibility, causing me to want to be sure I never come anywhere near him at any time.

  6. These officers and their supervisors need to be answering some serious questions in front of a judge! Shouldn’t these officers be behind bars awaiting arraignment on battery charges??

  7. We get what we pay for in this country. The calibre of police officers is repeatedly shown to be far below what an advanced society should have. If you travel to most other countries in the Western World, like Canada, you do find from time to time that some moron has slipped through the cracks but on general, the intelligence level of a police officer is, by demand, much higher.

    In Victoria, British Columbia, a police officer must have a degree in criminal justice to be considered. Even with that the applicant must exhibit an attachment to the justice system that had occupied his or her time for at least a few years prior to being considered.

    I have travelled throughout Europe, have dual citizenship with Canada, and the type of person that, perhaps has found his or her self a police officer by default, seems to exist mainly in this country. A day doesn’t go by without some story similar to this. Police officers act irrationally because they are in fear of their lives in this ‘gun toting’ country, however, far too many are simply disadvantaged when it comes to using common sense.

  8. One can ponder, how many more of these similar incidents will happen before the police departments completely lose the confidence of the tax payer? Every week no less than a dozen stories like this can been read. In a very general sense, it is very odd how such highly trained cops have the ability and skill to read a 1 inch square number of a windshield sticker that is out of date from a mile away at a closure speed of 140 mph (sarcasm), but can’t tell a toy gun at 20 ft from a real one before emptying a pistol magazine, firing and killing a child…and then justify their action saying they were just following procedures and practices. And then after all that, still have the absolute gall to believe they are doing their public duty by risking their lives to benefit you, while demanding your respect and cooperation in their investigations and to support this same system while serving on juries. One has to ask…really? I am so disappointed.

  9. The officers need to make sure that any potential trial is handled in Fullerton, California. Beating people to death is perfectly legal as long as you have the magic blue costume…or maybe in Torrance where shooting at random motorists is now justifiable: In the report, the district attorney found that because McGee and his partner, Erin Sooper, were “anxious” and in a state of “panic,” their attempt to kill Mr. Perdue was justified

  10. As I usually say I would like to see the report / dashcam but in this case it is very difficult to imagine this as being justified by the OHP.

    A capable officer is trained to assume someone might be deaf with regard to not responding to commands. There are multiple scenarios in training where deaf individuals (or actors portraying this) are used.

  11. OS

    I read nearly the entire case report for the Seattle PD shooting of the homeless wood carver complete with video, photos and all. It was my opinion in that matter there was probable cause to charge the officer with Manslaughter. First there was no reasonable suspicion to even stop the man who was originally just walking past the patrol car in a crosswalk while carving on a block of wood and not threatening anyone. Next the officer ran through the force continuum recklessly quick. And I didn’t see a justification for the shooting.

  12. Some departments have instituted a maximum intelligence level for their officers, arguing that people who are too bright get bored and leave the field, wasting all their training.

  13. Once again the police thugs beat up an innocent civilian.Unfortunately this type of outrageous police misconduct is becoming far too commonplace in our post 911 paranoid nation. I am certain that this cruel cop will never be disciplined for his actions

  14. Darren,
    Thanks for your insight into the Seattle case mentioned by OS. I sure hope these officers are charged as any other thug might be. However, I am not too optimistic.

    Police are the most dangerous people you will meet in everyday life. At least with the common criminal you have the right to self-defense.
    With the ubiquity of cell phone cameras ALWAYS video record when police are nearby. You may save yourself or a stranger from their abuse of authority.
    Remember, it is always legal to publicly record the police, no matter what they might say.

  16. We need to wait until all of the facts are in before we can reach any conclusions about the police officers in this case. For example, Pearl Pearson may well have tried to use his head as a weapon against the police officers who were merely asking him a few questions, and Pearson thus suffered some collateral damage as a result of using his head to strike forceful blows against the hands and bats of the officers. Everyone knows that police officers only carry out the law, and public safety is paramount. This Pearson character looks dangerous and sinister to me, so I believe that even if the police officers may have defended themselves too much against Pearson’s brutal attacks, they may well have been justified.

  17. its obvious that the only reason these cops made it to the academy after failing the test is because they answered that all important question ” are you willing to shoot american citizens ? with a uneqivocal YES I AM…

    there is no other way possible for them to have made the cut of the academy….. the only other explanation is there is a shortage of steroids and the roid rage is kicking in….

  18. Elderly? I’m 64 and I’m not elderly. If “elderly” was used to make the police’s crime seem more egregious, it doesn’t. It is equally bad regardless of the age of the person they beat up. But I’m sure that justice will be done. They will be suspended with pay for a week or two.

  19. Frank: Don’t drive deaf in Oklahoma. It’s getting pretty close to home for me. Otherwise, Cheers, Bob

    Sent from my iPad


  20. Not funny, it happened to my husband even back in 90s, he was ordered to get out his car under gunpoint by vice squad, they punched n pinched him on the street, kicked him …. blood all over his face, arrested him for 24 hrs, this happened while he was inside the car when it was jammed near a motel entrance, police imposter prostitute popped her head in the car asked him if he wanted sex, he never replied her, then she became friendly asked my hubby where he was from etc, then he just asked curiously how much she charged, instead she signalled vice squad came beat him up, everything happened less than 5 minutes, approach n handcuff, later he was not convicted but the arrest news published was completely twisted by oklahoman published on 19th may 1990, he hid this secret for 24 yrs, even as a wife l didnt know, until l found out myself, l m very angry n dissapointed of twisted facts could happen in USA, the incident happened not late wed, it was about 3pm after he finished his work from OKC chinese restaurant, n there were no two motels at all, they arrested n beaten him of solidating prostitution inside the car on jammed street?! N surprised u they never took his picture of injured face! The black vice squad was the one punched n pinched his head on the street, OKC police needs serious perhaps federal investigation! His OU international students frds n his Chieng association n methodist church could witness my husband is not a pervert! And l dont think my kids dad was or is a pervert too. He was poor, sorry imposter policewkman, he thought you were very pretty but he wouldnt be able to pay you too although you didnt tell him your cost, but your cost is sending him some kicks n punches n locked him in jail for 24 hrs, not all men like prostitution, you just killed a curious cat only!

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