Walking across the street in a manner not fit for the police state can often end in serious injury or death— not necessarily because of a car running you over either. The enforcement of jaywalking laws in this country have gone to the extreme and a new lawsuit against the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office proves this notion.
According to the SF Chronicle, attorneys for plaintiff Hui Jie Jin laid out the allegations in a lawsuit filed late last week in Northern District of California. The suit claims Jin suffered a permanent brain injury, along with contusions and abrasions, as a result of what her attorneys called an unlawful arrest.
Named in the suit as defendants are sheriff’s deputy Phillip Corvello, Alameda County, Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern and the city of Dublin. Deputy Corvello is also contracted to work with the Dublin police department who conducted an internal investigation into the case, according to captain Nate Schmidt.
Schmidt explained that jaywalking is not an arrestable offense. However, he said that “there was more than an arrest for jaywalking. Not obeying a lawful order is an arrestable offense, so that’s what we were looking at.”
Because of the lawsuit, Schmidt chose not to go any further into detail. However, given that Jin is deaf, the officer likely escalated violence because she could not understand him barking orders at her.
Indeed, this is what the lawsuit claims. As the SF Chronicle points out:
Jin and Corvello first encountered each other on the morning of July 21, 2017, when Jin was out shopping for groceries. The lawsuit claims that Corvello began yelling at Jin while she was allegedly jaywalking, but because Jin is “profoundly deaf” she couldn’t hear or understand his commands.
As Corvello moved closer to her, the suit alleges, Jin pointed to her ear with one hand and waved her hand back and forth with the other to signal that she was deaf.
“Despite recognizing that Mrs. Jin could not hear or understand him, Officer Corvello made no attempts to effectively communicate with Mrs. Jin at any point before or during her arrest,” the suit states.
Within minutes of Corvello watching an elderly deaf woman cross the road with her groceries, Jin found herself surrounded by police — for jaywalking. As officers arrived, they searched Jin and all of her groceries. During the search, Jin produced her California identification card, disabled senior citizen bus pass, and a handwritten card with the name and phone number of Jin’s daughter for emergencies.
According to the lawsuit, Jin was terrified and begged the cops not to hurt her but this was to no avail.
“Mrs. Jin was terrified, but at no point did she resist arrest or attempt to flee, nor could she due to her age and disabilities,” the complaint states. Jin prayed and repeatedly bowed in front of Corvello “in order to beg … for mercy and not to hurt her.”
However, according to the suit, Corvello was having nothing of it. This elderly deaf woman had been caught jaywalking so he was going to take her down.
According to the suit, Corvello then attacked the 76-year-old deaf woman and slammed her to the ground. He then put his boot on her back as she was handcuffed. The trauma was so rough for Jin that she passed out.
The suit alleges multiple violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, negligence, and deprivation of Jin’s civil rights.
According to the lawsuit, Jin was given a citation for jaywalking and resisting arrest. However, none of this paperwork exists and no charges were filed, the suit says.
Jin is now seeking an unspecified amount in damages and is asking that the department be trained in how not to beat up elderly deaf women for jaywalking. Rest assured that the taxpayers of Alameda County will now be held responsible for the brutal cop who assaulted a 76-year-old woman.
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