Police Taser Deaf Woman for Not Following Verbal Commands


A Tacoma, Wash. woman is still seeking justice for being tasered, rough-handled, and jailed for almost three days after calling police for help.

On the night of Apr. 6 Lashonn White, born deaf, used a video phone made specifically for the hearing impaired to call 911 and report that a woman was attacking her in her home.

“Right now! This is serious!” White signed to an interpreter who was translating the hand signals to dispatchers, according to local news station KIRO7.

“She’s fighting at me, then she chokes me. She’s coming right at me!”

Officers Michael Young and Ryan Koskovich were sent to the scene and told multiple times that that the victim requesting police assistance was deaf.

The officers arrived within six minutes, however, instead of receiving help, White was shocked into submission by volts delivered from a taser gun, arrested and put into a police car.

“She ran outside to meet them and immediately, Officer Koskovich tasered her in her rib and stomach,” reads the petition the letter. “Because of the fall, she suffered heavy bleeding from her knuckles, injuries to her cheek, chin, ribs, neck, and arms, and swelling on the right side of her face.”

According to KIRO7, two neighbors spoke with officers on the night of the incident and explained that White wasn’t ignoring their commands and said that she was deaf. The officers still took her to jail.

White spent 60 hours in a cell for simple assault and obstruction of a public servant before an interpreter was provided and the charges were dropped.

The officers involved submitted statements after the confrontation and claimed the woman did not respond to verbal commands after running from her home with what they say was a “ piercing stare in her eyes.”

The Tacoma Police Department did not respond to repeated requests for comment or clarification of the incident. 

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Police Taser Deaf Woman for Not Following Verbal Commands

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