Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mobile, Ala., and Dollar General sued over Tasering of deaf man in 2009

From The Press-Register in Alabama:

MOBILE, Ala. -- A lawsuit against the city of Mobile and Dollar General was filed today on behalf of Antonio Love (pictured), a deaf and mentally disabled man whom Mobile police forced from a store restroom using pepper spray and a Taser last year, his lawyer said.

On July 24, 2009, Love was inside a Dollar General store restroom, feeling sick to his stomach, when police arrived in response to a call from a store manager who thought Love was inside too long.

"It is clear that what happened to Antonio should have never happened," said his attorney Tommy James in a news release. "He has never had any run-ins with the law and he was not a threat to anyone. Once Antonio realized that it was the police trying to get into the bathroom, he put up no resistance and yet police still Tasered him three times."

A Mobile police internal investigation last year ruled that police were justified in using a Taser and pepper spray to forcibly remove him because officers at the time did not know he was deaf, but a lieutenant erred by trying to send Love to jail after getting him out.

City officials didn't immediately return a message for comment.