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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 PearlPearson.com)

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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