Deaf man says police beat him for disobeying orders he couldn’t hear

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A photo of Pearl Pearson after an altercation with Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers. (Courtesy: KFOR via

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A deaf man in Oklahoma City claims Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers used excessive force against him for not obeying their commands, despite a sign he says he has in his vehicle that alerts others that he is deaf.

Pearl Pearson, 64, allegedly fled the scene of an automobile accident and was later pulled over by Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

Affiliate KFOR reports that an affidavit indicates Pearson resisted two troopers and didn’t comply with multiple orders to show his hands after they had pulled him over on January 3. A seven-minute physical altercation ensued. Pearson alleges he was hit in the face before he could show his ID. The affidavit does not mention if the officers knew Pearson couldn’t hear them. Pearson was arrested and later charged for leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest.

Pearson’s neighbor, Sacia Law, said she knows him to be a kind man and said that what happened to him was the result of a misunderstanding.

“He’s hearing impaired, you can’t yell at him from behind his car and get a response,” she said. “I know they do dangerous jobs and they put their lives on the line, but that is over the top.”

A statement provided to KFOR from the highway patrol mentioned that Pearson’s arrest and officer’s actions are currently being reviewed. Online court records indicate that charges have been filed, but no future court dates are listed at this time.

In an earlier report, Pearson reportedly indicated that the Total Source for Hearing-Loss and Access group (TSHA) was coming to his defense, but a member of the group told FOX 4 that it doesn’t know the circumstances behind the arrest and said they are not involved and not his spokesperson. TSHA provides interpreters and other services for the hearing-impaired. On their website, they are accepting donations for his legal and medical expenses.

Video and story from KFOR-TV.

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  • Peace_Officers_not_Police_Officers

    His son is a cop and his son-in-law is a deputy Sheriff. The police state has now reached the point that even their own families are cattle to be abused and oppressed.

    When police are above the law, there is no law. There is only survival.

  • NB

    I just read another news story that states he has a large sign on his car saying “Driver is Deaf” and his license and registration has him listed as a deaf driver. There is no way the police officers can claim they didn’t know he was deaf. HE HAD A SIGN ON HIS CAR!

    • DeeMarie

      Lots of people have signs and bumper stickers on their cars, I doubt the cops read each and every one. Perhaps the cops didn’t realize the sign was there. All they knew was that this man left the scene of an accident and wasn’t following their commands.

      • jason k

        If there was a large sign that said that, you dont think a cop would see it while shinning their spotlight on the car to run their plates

  • AdoptiveMom

    Am I the only one who saw the part about him “allegedly” leaving the scene of an accident? Maybe this is why police were already amped up when pulling him over… I’m not saying that what the police did was right by any means, but he’s not a saint here, either…

    • Josh Mchasserson

      The law doesn’t support retaliatory behavior. If I’m accused of murdering someone, that doesn’t make the police the judge, jury, and executioner. Their only job is to get the alleged wrongdoer into custody for the court system to decide guilt and divvy punishment.

  • prosemachine

    Will everyone just calm down? Look at the facts (which there are few) and see that the word “allegedly” is tossed around a few times. What strikes me as odd is this deaf man who is competent enough to have a sign on his car to alert other of his disability sat still as stone like an idiot after he was pulled over. I’m certain he’s not too stupid to figure out what’s going on when the red and blue lights start flashing. But you all seem to look past that and embrace this highly sensationalized headline. And the man “allegedly” fled the scene of an accident, which is suspicious regardless of the circumstances.

    • lee

      Allegedly is a built in safety mechanism for news reports anyway. And they’re probably relying on the police report. Consider that there is a yet another story of a deaf man being beaten for displaying threatening behavior. He says he’s was trying to sign to them about what was happening. Fact is police can and will lie on these reports to validate their behavior. Sad but true.

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