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Strange legal question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Shadowpballer, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Shadowpballer

    Shadowpballer Member

    First for some background, when I was little (birth to about 2 years old) I was deaf. (not anymore) but my question is before police knock down you door, do they have someway of knowing you deaf (via registry or something) and bringins someone who knows ASL. So if not, if you are deaf, living in a “bad” negorhood and the police knock down your door (doesn’t matter if they IDed them self’s, you cant hear) and you shot one thinking it was a home invasion what would the fallout be?
  2. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    You'd likely never know, because the rest of 'em would give you a fatal dose of lead poisening.
  3. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember something like this in Detroit a few years ago. Deaf guy was cleaning up on his porch with a rake or broom. Cops came up and yelled at him to drop the implement. He didn't. End of deaf guy.

    That may have been a special case. The cop that dropped him had a long history of "justified shootings". Never really accused of being a serial killer, but maybe a little quick on the trigger.

  4. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    So a few deaf people get blown away ... who cares? I'm not deaf so it doesn't affect me. That's a price our society can afford to pay in the War on People Doing Things the Government Doesn't Approve Of.

    [bitter sarcasm alert for the humor impaired ;) ]
  5. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

    Tallpine got this one right. What's wrong with these deaf people - why don't they fix their problem? If kids can cure acne, I'm sure a little problem like being deaf can be fixed. They just need to get over their problem, it's not OUR problem.
  6. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    Shadowpballer ~

    Several of my cousins are deaf. There's no "deaf people registry" that I ever heard of, but the hearing impairment is noted on their driver's licenses so the police would see that if they checked the driver's license database for the person they were after. Like many other disabled folks, most profoundly deaf people will be on one government program or another (receiving Social Security for instance) -- but I don't know if local police would have access to that info or not.

    Homes where people who are deaf live have certain features that make it kind of obvious that there's at least one non-hearing person in the household. Flashing lights in place of doorbells, for instance, or a teletype machine by the phone.

    There's also the issue that most severely hearing-impaired folks have lived with their disability for their entire lives, so they are used to handling encounters with other people. It isn't like they haven't coped with people who don't understand them, a million times before. It seems to me that what my cousins would likely do if a SWAT team burst in would simply be to raise their hands as soon as they saw the police insignia & guns. You don't need to hear the shouted words in order to understand a gun pointed at you!

    Deaf people's voices have a distinct sound. While several of my cousins speak very well despite profound hearing impairment, if they are startled into a cry or a yell, their voices sound like a deaf person's voice. The difference is very noticeable and that should clue any reasonably competent police officer into what's going on.

    Finally, nearly all hearing-impaired people in America are taught to read lips. As long as they look toward the officers (and as long as the officers' mouths are visible), there won't be any real problem in understanding what the officers want.

  7. rwc

    rwc Well-Known Member

    I think Pax is spot-on in that you are far better off raising your hands and sorting it out later. That said:

    As I understand your question - What would happen if I shot an LEO serving a warrant when you reasonably believed it to be a home invasion? Answer - It depends. [What did you expect? :D ]

    It depends upon the laws of the state you live in and what the specific facts are. As a general matter the legal question is commonly whether you had a reasonable fear of severe bodily harm or death (to yourself or others) and whether the force you used to protect yourself (or others) was reasonable under the circumstances. There are way too many variables to tease out a "rule of thumb" let alone a rule of law that will cover this kind of scenario.

    On a more helpful note - if you fear this, perhaps a seriously reinforced set of doors (bolts on both sides) and an alarm system that ties into and flashes a light in every room (like some phones and doorbells do) would be a reasonable response to this concern. Despite the alarming headlines when it happens, warrants served on the wrong location where a shooting occurs during service of the warrant are very, very rare.
  8. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

    I'll note that reinforced doors are a good thing anyways, though protecting from a police ram will require some engineering, not just longer bolts and screws. After that reinforcing the windows might be a good idea. I wonder how hard it'd be to get windows with a plexiglass exterior? Just tell the sales agent "I've had one baseball too many from the kids".
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    I've worked for a few deaf guys. Two have been hit with Resisting Law Enforcement (guys were confused [and drunk]) even though later on (at the county jug) they discover the arrestee is deaf. Talking to the prosecution has resolved the matter favorably in both cases.

    As to your hypothetical scenario, it depends.:D Too many variables in the stew to say and if I knew the future I would be a stock broker not a tilecrawler. (A stock broker with a really cool gun collection!:D).

    Could be criminal prosecution, who knows how that would be resolved. Deaf person could be facing civil and perhaps administrative problems as well.

    The problems a deaf person would face in Problem #2 would be the same problems any person would face--the three headed dragon of criminal, civil and administrative fallout.
  10. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Weak screws + bungee cord + battering ram = door opened, and slammed back just as quick.

    That, and an iron spike to limit travel oughta do ya. ;)

    Now, as to the actual thread topic, my guess as to the legal outcome would be something like, "It was (or wasn't) reasonable for the officer to know in advance that the suspect was deaf, and therefore shooting was (or wasn't) justified, considering the circumstances. As to the defendant (or deceased) shooting back, it was probably reasonable that the person believed their home to be invaded, considering it was 4AM and the entry team wore black."
  11. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Well-Known Member

    I work on the police dispatching systems (CAD, computer aided dispatch) and ours (and I assume others) have what we call premise/hazard alerts.
    So, the dispatcher (or the cop in the car from his mobile terminal) initates an incident to some address. This address will come up with some type of notification that there is something special at this address (previous incidents, felon, chemical factory, anything the department chooses to write down, and everytime there is an incident they add to the database). The dispatcher (or cop) can then get a more detailed list of the information at (and/or) near that address.
    If you had ever done anything, or someone knew, it's probably in there (really, you wouldn't believe how much info is in there) and they would have some clue.
    Now, do they care, that's a different question.:mad:
  12. rwc

    rwc Well-Known Member

    Firethorn -
    There are a few window products out there (really strong plastic films essentially) that provide some ballistic protection to regular windows without going all the way up to bullet resistant glass. I think someone posted a link a while back if you want to search for it.
  13. BigRobT

    BigRobT Well-Known Member

    Not that Corey Maye was deaf, but he was the subject of a questionable search warrant served in the wee hours of the morning. He shot & killed an officer in the process. He is currently on death row. I realize that I don't know the entire story, but things certainly look like the police could have done a better job.
  14. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    So how exactly do you read lips through Mr. SWAT Man's balaclava and face shield?
  15. DJJ

    DJJ Well-Known Member

    And how do you see the teletype machine next to the phone when you're battering down the front door?
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    All of my family on my mother's side were deaf; aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. A common fear of deaf people is being misunderstood by the police.

    When I went through the police academy in CA in 1989, POST mandated a half day of training for cadets to understand the problems of deaf citizens. The instructor was a deaf man who knew my aunt Vicki. After he signed his introduction to the class, he asked if anyone understood him. I signed I understood him perfectly. That was a first for him, to have a police cadet who understood American Sign Language.

  17. bjbarron

    bjbarron Well-Known Member

    More years ago than I care to remember, I was involved in a class for much the same thing...with video shoot/no shoot scenarios. ..."cops screaming at a guy to stop and get on the ground - he keeps walking toward them and reaches into his back pocket - for a drivers licence that says that he's deaf."

    This training has been going on for a while, I guess. I don't have a clue how many times it's turned out tragically.
  18. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    I am hearing impared and going deaf.....

    will be in about 3 years or so. I have a small plate next to my doorbell that says the resident is hearing impared. I used to have a small pin on badge that said "hearing impared" but TSA took it away from me when I went through security to board a flight, ya can stick the pilot and take over the airplane......yeah right. I am a 250 lb world class powerlifter and I need a little pin? My doorbell is the flashing light kind but I do not have one on my phone. Most calls to my house are sales calls anyway even though I am on several do not call lists. Too cheap to have caller ID. I should get it though. I can still carry on a conservation if I am a quiet enviornment, even better if I am familiar with your voice but that ability is fast going away. At least I won't have to wear muffs when I shoot.........chris3
  19. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that, Chris. No hope for your hearing? Medications, anything like that?

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