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Marlee Matlin On Deaf And Police Interaction

WATCH [CC] - Marlee Matlin On Deaf And Police Interaction in American Sign Language.

Actress Marlee Matlin, who is Deaf and the wife of a police officer, teamed up with ACLU and advocacy group HEARD, on an American Sign Language video to ensure Deaf people know their rights when interacting with law enforcement.

When police officers don't realize Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people can't hear them, it has led to police officers brutally assaulting Deaf people and other tragedies.


While this video aims to ensure that Deaf people know their rights, they can only do so much. It is the responsibility of police departments to ensure that their officers are adequately trained.

We are calling on the Department of Justice to conduct trainings with local police departments on how to better interact with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. For more information, go to https://www.aclu.org/deafrights.

"Driving While Deaf."

In January 2014, Pearl Pearson, age 64, was pulled over by Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers. He says he signaled he was Deaf and placed his hands on the steering wheel when state patrolmen brutally assaulted him for not following verbal orders he couldn't hear.

The district attorney announced that the patrolmen involved would not be charged for this brutal attack on the same day that he charged Pearson who has two sons who are police officers with resisting arrest.

This footage is actual video of what happened to Pearson that night.


Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. When police officers don't realize Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people can't hear them, it has led to police officers brutally assaulting Deaf people and other tragedies.

We are calling on the Department of Justice to conduct trainings with local police departments on how to better interact with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. For more information, go to https://www.aclu.org/deafrights.

Note: During interrogations, the ADA requires qualified interpreters, but certified interpreters should always be used where they are available.

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