IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – A deaf man who spent four months in jail after police used a taser gun against him during a traffic stop filed a federal lawsuit over the incident.
By Brady Mistic lawsuit alleges “the appalling use of unnecessary police force and the unjust imprisonment of a deaf man who was hastily attacked by accused officers after failing to acknowledge his disability and misinterpreting his non-threatening attempts to view and communicate as challenges to police authority.”
Mistic names two police officers, the City of Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners as defendants.
What the body camera video shows
The incident occurred on September 17, 2019, when Officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie summers He followed Mystic’s car into a laundromat parking lot after claiming that Mistic ran a stop sign.
Body camera video obtained by problem solvers shows Hanning knocking Mistic to the ground seconds after exiting his patrol after yelling, “Excuse me, who do you think you are?”
Officers would later claim that Mistic jumped out of his car and ran towards them, although the body camera video reviewed by problem solvers appears to show Mistic standing outside the officer’s patrol moments before he was knocked to the ground.
Mistic told FOX31 that he was confused at the time and had no idea why the officers were shining a bright light on his face and he simply walked over to see if the officers had a problem with him or someone else.
“I was confused, I didn’t realize they were coming towards me, I didn’t know what it was for,” said Mistic, before adding: “They didn’t give me the opportunity to explain that I was deaf.”
In the body camera video, Summers, the other officer in the incident, can be heard yelling, “Put your arms behind your back right now or I’ll beat you up!” and Hanning can be heard yelling “Taste it!”
Eventually, the officers would charge Mistic with assault, obstructing a peace officer, and resisting arrest.
‘They didn’t see me as a citizen’
Mistic’s lawsuit he claims that he would then spend four months in jail where “he was repeatedly denied an interpreter or other reasonable means of communication.”
“My grandmother had cancer. He died while I was in jail. That traumatized me. It really hurt my feelings for not being able to be there. I cried a lot. I wanted to get out of jail so I could go to the funeral and have seen my grandmother. The judge wouldn’t let me, ”Mistic said.
Ultimately, the charges were dropped when Mistic agreed to enter a fun show.
“You cross the line between simply being ignorant and not knowing about a disability to being cruel and inhuman when you find out that someone is deaf and cannot hear you and then they are accused of assaulting a police officer,” said his attorney, Raymond. Bryant.
“I was not a value to them, they did not see me as a citizen,” Mistic said.
Officers were involved in another high-profile Taser incident
The two officers, Hanning and Summers, were the same two officers involved in the tasting of 75-year-old Michael Clark in May.
Hanning was fired in mid-July., just days after he was accused of assaulting Clark.
Idaho Springs Police Chief Nathan Buseck issued the following statement to troubleshooters:
“On 09/17/2019 (2 years ago), Idaho Springs Police Department officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 1300 block of Idaho Street for a stop sign violation at approximately 1937 hours .
“The driver, Brady Mistic, immediately got out of his vehicle and quickly approached a clearly marked patrol car with its hazard lights on.
“The officers gave verbal orders to Mr. Mistic to return to his vehicle.
“It was later determined that Mr. Mistic was deaf, but this fact was not known to the officers during the initial encounter.
“The officers then ordered Mr. Mistic to sit down. At one point, officers attempted to gain control of Mr. Mistic by handcuffing him due to his inexplicable actions.
“Mr. Mistic resisted the officers and a physical altercation ensued. One of the ISPD officers was injured (broken leg) due to Mr. Mistic’s resisting actions.
“Mr. Mistic was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Shortly thereafter, he was cleared for arrest and transferred to the Clear Creek County Detention Center, where officers charged him with assault on a lifeguard, obstruction of an officer Peace and Resistance to Arrest The officer who sustained a serious broken leg was former ISPD officer Nicholas Hanning and the other officer was Officer Ellie Summers, who was in training at the time of the incident.
“The incident was reviewed by former chief Christian Malanka and the actions of the officers were deemed appropriate.
“The 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office finally allowed Mr. Mistic to participate in a Diversion Program instead of filing formal charges.”
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