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Sprayed and tased in Hillcrest's commercial zone

Deaf man claims police didn't believe he was disabled

Jeffrey Robinson being subdued by three police officers
Jeffrey Robinson being subdued by three police officers

A deaf man says he was doused with pepper spray and tased for parking in a commercial loading zone in Hillcrest for two minutes.

The man, Jeffrey Robinson, has since filed a claim to San Diego's Risk Management Department seeking damages up to $125,000.

On August 17th of last year Robinson parked his car in a commercial loading zone outside of Flashbacks Recycled Fashion on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest. He went to his trunk and grabbed two garbage bags full of clothes he wanted to trade in.

He dropped them off at the counter and came back and noticed a parking enforcement officer had already written him a ticket.

In the complaint, Robinson claims the officer threw the ticket at him. Robinson further alleges that while bending down to pick it up, the officer pepper-sprayed him in the face, temporarily blinding him.

Unable to hear, speak, or see, Robinson felt his way to the trunk of his car to get a towel to wipe his face and eyes.

Unbeknownst to him, three San Diego police officers had arrived. As he rummaged through his truck an officer tased him before officers cuffed him. The officers, he believes, all considered him to be intoxicated and never thought he was deaf.

Robinson claims that he began to convulse from the electric shock.

"None of the officers that arrived knew sign language and could not communicate effectively with Mr. Robinson. A sign language interpreter was not called to the scene," reads the October 3 claim.

"In short, Mr. Robinson was blinded and tased because he was deaf. He was not treated in the same manner that non-deaf people get treated. His expressions and signs resulting from his disability were misinterpreted as intoxication. There was no effective communication resulting in the denial of the public service provided to other individuals who can hear and speak when in the process of and being taken into custody."

If the claim is denied then a lawsuit will likely be filed.

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Jeffrey Robinson being subdued by three police officers
Jeffrey Robinson being subdued by three police officers

A deaf man says he was doused with pepper spray and tased for parking in a commercial loading zone in Hillcrest for two minutes.

The man, Jeffrey Robinson, has since filed a claim to San Diego's Risk Management Department seeking damages up to $125,000.

On August 17th of last year Robinson parked his car in a commercial loading zone outside of Flashbacks Recycled Fashion on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest. He went to his trunk and grabbed two garbage bags full of clothes he wanted to trade in.

He dropped them off at the counter and came back and noticed a parking enforcement officer had already written him a ticket.

In the complaint, Robinson claims the officer threw the ticket at him. Robinson further alleges that while bending down to pick it up, the officer pepper-sprayed him in the face, temporarily blinding him.

Unable to hear, speak, or see, Robinson felt his way to the trunk of his car to get a towel to wipe his face and eyes.

Unbeknownst to him, three San Diego police officers had arrived. As he rummaged through his truck an officer tased him before officers cuffed him. The officers, he believes, all considered him to be intoxicated and never thought he was deaf.

Robinson claims that he began to convulse from the electric shock.

"None of the officers that arrived knew sign language and could not communicate effectively with Mr. Robinson. A sign language interpreter was not called to the scene," reads the October 3 claim.

"In short, Mr. Robinson was blinded and tased because he was deaf. He was not treated in the same manner that non-deaf people get treated. His expressions and signs resulting from his disability were misinterpreted as intoxication. There was no effective communication resulting in the denial of the public service provided to other individuals who can hear and speak when in the process of and being taken into custody."

If the claim is denied then a lawsuit will likely be filed.

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Comments
2

I've known Jeff for 30 years and when I heard about this last year, I was mortified. Jeff is one of the most gentle, sweetest people I've ever known. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body and for something like this to have happened to him really boils my blood. I understand that the police are always on the lookout for suspects having weapons and such and are just doing their jobs. But tased? TASED? There were three officers and one wannabe on the scene and they felt the need to use excessive force? How in the hell does that make any sense? If it were me, I'd be taking the city for more than $125,000. I'd be taking those officers' badges, homes, and first born children with me too, so the city ought to feel really fortunate and give him the damn money. This case never had to have happened and I don't know what they're teaching officers in SD about using force but they really need to rethink that.

May 12, 2018

"In the complaint, Robinson claims the officer threw the ticket at him. Robinson further alleges that while bending down to pick it up, the officer pepper-sprayed him in the face, temporarily blinding him.

Unable to hear, speak, or see, Robinson felt his way to the trunk of his car to get a towel to wipe his face and eyes."

That simply is not a believable story. Without any question, there is far more that happened.

"Robinson claims that he began to convulse from the electric shock."

That's what happens when you get Tased. There's nothing special or outrageous about "convulsing"... that's the whole point.

May 12, 2018

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