A man who was pepper sprayed and shot with a stun gun filed a complaint against the San Diego Police Department because he says they failed to recognize he was deaf.
Jeffrey Robinson said he was parked in a yellow zone outside of a thrift store in Hillcrest in August 2017 for only a few minutes when he saw a parking enforcement officer putting a ticket on his car.
Robinson said he tried to gesture to the officer that he had only been in the store for a few minutes when the confrontation escalated and the officer pepper sprayed him, Robinson said.
Three police officers then showed up and Robinson was shot multiple times with a stun gun, according to the complaint.
The complaint said bystanders yelled to the officers that he was deaf but a sign language interpreter was not called to the scene.
Robinson sent NBC 7 a Facebook message that said officers need more training.
"The police needs to be educated and better at handling the situation whenever anyone yells at them that the person they're dealing with happens to be hearing challenged," he wrote.
Allie Riceman of Deaf Community Services San Diego also spoke to NBC 7 through an interpreter. "Really it’s an unfortunate situation and hopefully in the future, if there’s any similar situation it could be addressed differently,"Riceman said.
Deaf Community Services said they do work with police on how to properly deal with hearing-impaired people.
In a statement to NBC 7, the San Diego Police Department said they can’t comment on current litigation. The city attorney's office said it would respond through the courts.