Police Encountering People with Disabilities: A Deadly Encounter

 By James Naughton

 

Introduction

On a typical day, a law enforcement officer may interact with a diverse range of citizens. In particular, citizens with which a police officer may occasionally interact include disabled individuals. When police officers encounter a person with a disability, a variety of issues and concerns can arise, sometimes with deadly consequences. The aim of this article is to familiarize the reader, as well as individuals with disabilities and law enforcement officers, with recent cases, settlements, and some best practice guidelines for interacting with one another.

 

There are approximately 56.7 million Americans with disabilities, which amounts to nearly one-in-five Americans that have a disability.1 Individuals with disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law passed in 1990 to prevent discrimination based on disabilities. The ADA affects law enforcement personnel in nearly every facet of their work, including receiving citizen complaints, interrogating witnesses, operating 911 centers and enforcing laws.2 It is crucial that citizens with disabilities and law enforcement personnel understand their rights and responsibilities under the ADA.

 

Law enforcement agencies are “public entities” under Title II of the ADA and are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.3 As a result of being a public agency, law enforcement agencies must keep their ears to the ground for recent developments in the courts that will impact their policies and procedures. Individuals with disabilities will also benefit from being mindful of recent developments as it impacts the accommodations disabled persons may request. In any event, an improved understanding between the two groups works to benefit both and moves toward best practices for the interaction between law enforcement personnel and persons with disabilities.

 

Discussion

Case Law: Title II May Not Apply To An Arresting Officer But A Person With A Disability May Have Viable Claims Under § 1983

One potential legal issue for law enforcement officers arises during the arrest process, when an individual with a disability may require a reasonable accommodation. Title II of the ADA states that “A public entity must reasonably modify its policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination. If the public entity can demonstrate, however, that modification would fundamentally alter the nature of its service, program, or activity, it is not required to make the modification.”4

 

In City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan,5 the respondent alleged that petitioner San Francisco violated Title II of the ADA by arresting her without accommodating her disability. Respondent was a resident at a group home for individuals with disabilities and had reportedly threatened her social worker and responding law enforcement officers with a knife. The officers attempted to pepper spray the respondent, which proved ineffective at subduing her and they subsequently shot her as she approached them with the knife drawn.

 

The Supreme Court dismissed the respondent’s ADA claim as improvidently granted, meaning that the lower federal court will decide whether San Francisco violated Title II’s reasonable accommodation requirement during petitioner’s arrest. The Court did decide, however, that qualified immunity applies to the responding officers because the officers had “no fair and clear warning of what the Constitution requires.” Here, the Court decided that the officer’s use of force was reasonable but it did not address the respondent’s claim that the officers violated Title II of the ADA that required them to accommodate her disability during her arrest.

 

While Sheehan dismissed but did not decide whether the respondent stated a claim for an ADA violation, other courts have found that the ADA does not apply to an officer’s interaction with persons with disabilities. In Lynn v. City of Indianapolis, the plaintiff was diagnosed with epilepsy and was having a seizure when officers arrived on the scene. The arresting officers believed that the plaintiff was high on cocaine and proceeded to arrest him. The officers, during the course of arrest, utilized pepper spray and an open-palmed blow to the head. The plaintiff-arrestee alleged that the City of Indianapolis violated Title II of the ADA by excluding him from the benefits of a public service or otherwise subjecting him to discrimination.6

 

The court followed the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in Hainze v. Richards holding that, “Title II does not apply to an officer’s on-the-street responses to reported disturbances or other similar incidents…prior to the officer’s securing the scene and ensuring that there is no threat to human life.”7 The court noted that while it was following the holding in Hainze it was not foreclosing the possibility of relief to the plaintiff under a § 1983 or state law claim. Interestingly, the court denied the officer’s claims of qualified immunity finding that a reasonable jury could conclude that the plaintiff was undergoing a medical emergency and was subject to force by law enforcement without any provocation whatsoever. Here, the court seemed to signal that an ADA claim may be difficult to establish. However, if established, officers may open themselves up to liability under § 1983 and various state laws such as false imprisonment, assault, and battery.

 

While it may be difficult for a plaintiff to state a claim for an ADA violation, one recent case has recognized the possibility. In Williams v. City of New York,8 the plaintiff was an individual who was deaf and was arrested and detained overnight by the New York Police Department. Plaintiff and her husband were landlords and the relevant incident occurred when they notified their tenants that they were to beevicted for non-payment of rent. The plaintiff-arrestee attempted to secure police presence for the eviction process, but the police did not respond to her requests. Plaintiff’s husband called the police again when he believed that a tenant’s boyfriend had arrived with a firearm. However, the plaintiff was arrested after officers spoke with the tenant and tenant’s boyfriend.

 

The plaintiff alleged a violation of Title II of the ADA and violations of other laws. The court denied the City of New York’s motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s ADA claim. The court found that Title II does generally apply to interactions between individuals with disabilities and arresting officers, but the reasonableness of accommodations under Title II must be assessed in the light of the totality of the circumstances of the case. The court also addressed the “on-the-street” exemption that Lynn and Hainze referenced, holding that on-the-street interactions are not categorically excluded from Title II coverage. The court seemed to disagree with the holdings in Hainze and Lynn and may signal a split between the circuits.

 

Recent verdicts seem to confirm that a plaintiff’s claims of a violation of the ADA, during the course of arrest, are difficult to prove. In Sanders v. The City of San Angelo, the plaintiff was, like Lynn, experiencing an epileptic seizure when police arrived on the scene. When police arrived, the plaintiff claimed that he asked them for medical assistance, but the police insisted that the plaintiff stand up. The plaintiff claimed that he came out of the seizure but was disoriented and began to run. Police caught up to the plaintiff and tackled him, struck him in the stomach and choked him. The plaintiff alleged a violation of the ADA or, in the alternative, a violation of the Rehabilitation Act. The case settled for an undisclosed amount, but the judge granted summary judgment on the ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims holding that there was no violation of either law.

 

Other cases seem to confirm that a police officer’s duty to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities is satisfied at a relatively low threshold. In Valanzuolo v. City of New Haven,9 the plaintiff was an individual with a hearing impairment and was arrested by New Haven police officers for failing to appear in court. During the plaintiff’s arrest, booking, and processing at the detention center, the plaintiff was not supplied with an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. The plaintiff alleged a deprivation of constitutional rights under the ADA for failure to provide an ASL interpreter. The court held that the City of New Haven provided the plaintiff with effective communication through the use of pen and paper. The City of New Haven succeeded against all of the plaintiff’s claims, in a pattern that is repeated in multiple verdicts and settlements.10

 

Individuals with Mental Illness

A common thread in law enforcement encounters with people who are mentally ill has been excessive force allegations. Early cases recognized the right of officers to use deadly force against an unarmed, mentally ill person, if the officer has reason to believe that the person poses a serious threat. Recent cases have recognized that the use of force spectrum is different for officers when encountering a person with mental illness than it is for individuals without a mental illness.

 

In Clem v. Corbeau,11 a suspect with mental illness who was shot and pepper sprayed by police officers later brought action alleging excessive force, failure to provide adequate training and supervision, and other state law claims. The plaintiff was an individual with dementia, depression, and various physical disabilities. The plaintiff’s wife contacted police after her husband stopped taking his medication, refused food for three days, would not see his doctor, move, or do anything. The facts surrounding the encounter between plaintiff and the officers is disputed but uncontroverted was that one officer did pepper spray and shoot the plaintiff three times after he allegedly made threats and moved in a threatening manner.

 

The court found that the officer’s use of deadly force against the plaintiff with a mental illness was not justified under the Fourth Amendment, for purposes of officers’ qualified immunity defense, and that the suspect had clearly established a right to be free from police officers’ use of deadly force. The court also noted that there may be instances in which a reasonable officer may be authorized to use deadly force against an unarmed, mentally ill person, when the officer has a sound reason to believe that such a person poses a serious threat to the safety of the officer or the safety of others.

 

While Clem seems to narrowly open the door to claims of excessive force against people with a mental illness, other cases have declined to extend such claims. In Barker v. City of Boston,12 the plaintiff, the administratrix of her husband’s estate, brought § 1983 actionagainst the city as well as allegations of Fourth Amendment violations and state law claims.

 

In Barker, the decedent/husband was an individual with mental illness and also had diabetes. The decedent’s wife had contacted police after her husband walked into the middle of the street with a pellet gun and threatened to commit suicide. The plaintiff-administratrix informed police that her husband had a pellet gun, not a firearm, and was having a “mental breakdown.” The decedent husband unlawfully took a responding
officer’s car, drove away from the scene, and was eventually shot through the windshield by officers in pursuit.

 

In this case the court held that the allegations were insufficient to prove: 1) deliberate indifference to constitutional rights of mentally ill individuals; 2) causation between inadequate police training dealing with mental illness and plaintiff’s husband’s death, and 3) that the city had a policy of condoning use of excessive force. The court found that the City of Boston did not ignore a “known or obvious risk of a highly predictable severe harm,” and, as a result, did not “deliberately” show indifference to individuals with mental illness. The court also held that in order to show that Boston had a policy condoning excessive force the plaintiff must show a persistent failure to discipline officers for use of force that demonstrates the existence of a custom or policy of Boston. In this case, the court follows the dicta of Clem, allowing officers to use force on individuals who are mentally ill and not armed, but are deemed a threat to their own safety or the safety of others.

 

More recently the pendulum has seemingly swung back to a more lenient standard and has allowed claims of excessive force to proceed. In Armstrong v. Village of Pinehurst,13 a decedent husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. The decedent had been off his medication for five days and his sister, concerned over his behavior, brought the decedent to the hospital. The decedent went to the hospital willingly but later fled. The examining doctor issued an order for involuntary commitment and the police arrived to execute the commitment.

 

When the police arrived, the decedent wrapped himself around the base of a stop sign post. The police ordered the decedent to get up, he refused, and they eventually deployed their tasers, five separate times, over a period of two minutes. When decedent was eventually subdued and pulled from the pole he was unconscious and not breathing. The decedent was pronounced dead. His spouse brought charges alleging excessive force during the execution of the involuntary commitment order.

 

The court held that the use of the taser was excessive force but that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. The court noted that the decedent was an “out-numbered mentally ill individual who [was] only a danger to himself” and that the choice of police officers to use a taser in the face of stationary and non-violent resistance was excessive force. The court also found that the “government’s interest in seizing a mentally ill person differs in both degree and in kind from the use of force that would be justified against a person who has committed a crime or who poses a threat to the community.” Finally, the court noted that police must “de-escalate the situation and adjust the application of force downward.”

 

Settlements with law enforcement agencies also confirm the trend that courts and municipalities are recognizing claims for excessive force. A recent case involved a decedent who had a history of mental illness, including depressive and psychotic disorders. The decedent was found by the police running in circles around a parking lot, holding a screwdriver and yelling out loud. When the officers arrived, the decedent failed to respond to their orders and they tased, kicked, and punched the decedent in the head and torso, resulting in his death. The decedent’s estate claimed excessive force and reached a settlement with the county. The plaintiff-estate and county reached a settlement for $750,000 and the county agreed to thereafter partner with MultiCare Mental Health to provide training for its sheriff’s deputies.


Requirement to Provide Effective Communication

Law enforcement officials are often the first responders in any number of circumstances. Ensuring effective communication between an officer and a person with a disability can defuse a situation or allow officers to meaningfully inform an individual of their rights, avoiding liability. The majority of cases involving effective communication revolve around police interactions with members of the deaf community. Recent cases and settlements are illustrative of police encounters with members of the deaf community.

 

In Bircoll v. Miami-Dade County,14 an individual who was deaf was pulled over by police for failing to yield at a right turn at an intersection with a flashing red light. The plaintiff informed the police officer that he was deaf, had a speech impediment, and communicated through lip reading. The officer asked plaintiff how much he had to drink that night and the plaintiff stated that he had not been drinking. The officer performed a field sobriety test, which the plaintiff failed, and the officer took him to the police station to perform an intoxilyzer test.

 

The plaintiff alleged that the arresting officer violated Title II of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act by not modifying the police department’s procedures to effectively communicate with him. The court held that providing an oral interpreter at a field sobriety test was not a reasonable modification and that the arresting officer took steps to ensure effective communication. The court first noted that the U.S. Department of Justice regulations pertaining to communication require that “a public entity shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications…with members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.”

 

After the court made their precursory statement regarding communication, it held that an oral interpreter’s presence at a field sobriety test is not a reasonable modification of police procedures due to the “exigent circumstances of a DUI stop on the side of the highway, the on-the-spot judgment required of police, and the serious public safety concerns in DUI criminal activity.”15 The court also found that the arresting officer’s communication with plaintiff about the field sobriety test and the plaintiff’s arrest were not so ineffective that the plaintiff “was [not] on equal footing with hearing individuals.”

 

Other cases have followed the guidance that what constitutes “effective communication” is a highly fact-specific inquiry. In Seremeth v. Board of County Com’rs Frederick County,16 the case involved a deaf person as plaintiff. The plaintiff was at his home with his daughter and did not allow his daughter to contact her mother over videophone. The plaintiff’s daughter ran away and made a call to her mother on videophone and during the call the mother claimed to have seen the plaintiff hit their daughter.

 

When the police arrived, they handcuffed the plaintiff behind his back, which prevented him from writing notes to the police officers. The plaintiff was handcuffed for 30-45 minutes and he was not told why the officers were at his house. The officers present called for another officer who was learning American Sign Language (ASL) and proceeded to interview the plaintiff’s children, who were also deaf, without a qualified sign language interpreter. The plaintiff alleged that the officers violated the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act by not effectively communicating him.

 

The court held that police investigations are subject to Title II of the ADA, but “exigent circumstances involved in a domestic violence situation render the accommodations provided reasonable under the ADA.” The court did recognize that plaintiff/Seremeth had suffered an injury, stating that “the injury is failure to make communication as effective as it would have been among deputies and persons without disabilities.” However, the court engaged in a balancing test to determine whether, in light of the circumstances, the communication was effective. The court found that while attempts at communication failed, that it was “reluctant to question the snap judgments of law enforcement officials,” especially in situations such as domestic violence where there is a high potential for violence. The court again seemed to signal that the provision of effective communications is a fact-specific inquiry and that it will balance the effectiveness of communication against the perceived danger of the situation.

 

Courts have also found that there are situations in which exigent circumstances do not outweigh the obligation to provide effective communication. In Schultz v. Utah County,17 the plaintiff was an individual who was deaf and was questioned by police regarding a murder. The police arrived at plaintiff’s residence after finding a body and began questioning other tenants, eventually making their way to the plaintiff’s home. The police asked the plaintiff if his wife was present and if they could see her to confirm her well-being, however the plaintiff refused their
entry. The plaintiff and police communicated through use of a notepad and pen. After the plaintiff refused the police entry, the plaintiff turned to wake up his wife and bring her to the police. The police allegedly followed the plaintiff into the apartment, without the plaintiff’s permission, whereupon they saw his wife alive and well. The plaintiff brought suit under various actions including the Fourth Amendment and the ADA.

 

The court found that the sheriffs provided effective communication through the notepad and did not violate the ADA. However, the court found that the officer’s entry into the home, absent exigent circumstances, precluded him from qualified immunity and denied the officer’s motion for summary judgment on his Fourth Amendment claim. The court did not find persuasive the officer’s testimony that his reason for entry was the inability to give verbal commands to the plaintiff.

 

The court draws a line here for exigent circumstances exceptions that apply equally to individuals with hearing impairment as with individuals without hearing impairment. Law enforcement personnel should be aware that their attempts at communication with individuals who are deaf or otherwise disabled will be judged on a fact-specific inquiry and the court measures the effectiveness of the communication against the exigent circumstances. This case represents a line which the court refused to cross, finding these circumstances did not justify qualified immunity for the officer.

 

The case law surrounding effective communication between police and hearing impaired individuals continues to develop. The most recent case was filed on June 13, 2016 regarding a woman who is deaf calling 9-1-1 for police services and ending up getting arrested due to miscommunication. The case, Stein v. City of Jamestown, ND, et al., is a cautionary tale for law enforcement agencies interacting with individuals with hearing impairment.

 

The plaintiff, a woman who is deaf, called 9-1-1 when a male friend, another individual who is deaf, threatened to commit suicide. When the police arrived on the scene they questioned the plaintiff, the man who threatened to commit suicide, and others who were present. The officer arrested the plaintiff when the officer came to the conclusion that the plaintiff had scratched the suicidal man causing deep gashes in his arm. Other officers on the scene advised the first officer that the nails could not have made gashes as deep as the man presented. The officer, his police department, and his city are now facing suit by the plaintiff for two counts of violating 42 USC 1983. If anything, this case stands for the proposition that it is easier to err on the side of caution by providing interpreters where appropriate, training officers to interact with members of the deaf community, and developing partnerships with key stakeholders in the deaf community.

 

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Columbia, South Carolina Police Department reached a settlement agreement on May 3, 2016 concerning effective communication between the hearing impaired community and with the police department. The settlement came as a result of a DOJ investigation into the Columbia Police Department for failing to provide a sign language interpreter for a hearing impaired individual. Some of the highlights of the settlement include Columbia Police Department’s agreement to designate at least one employee as ADA coordinator, to provide qualified interpreters to all members of the public who are deaf when feasible, to create “communication cards” to aid in communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing during routine interactions, and to submit to ongoing review of their communication capabilities. The agreement provides helpful guidance on how to implement training, change signage, modify handcuffing policies, and a variety of other topics that could prove helpful as law enforcement agencies look at their own best practices.


Individuals with Developmental Disabilities That Cannot Understand Direction

Individuals with developmental disabilities and other disabilities may have a difficult time understanding police instruction. However, police may mistake the actions as a sign of resistance or non-compliance. Recent case law confirms the dangers of miscommunication and tragedies that may result.

 

An example includes when a 32 year old man encountered police, and the man completely lacked the ability to care for himself and was unable to speak and respond to police commands. That man, Calvin D. Champion, lost his life as a result of miscommunication. Champion (a person with autism), Champion’s caretaker, and the caretaker’s son were visiting a local “Babies R’ Us” retail store when Champion became agitated and began biting his own hand, hitting his face, and slapping the top of the caretaker’s son. The caretaker felt as though she had lost control of Champion and called the police for help.The caretaker informed them that Champion had autism but she did not tell officers that he was nonverbal and nonresponsive to verbal communication.

 

Officers attempted to speak with Champion but those attempts failed and ultimately the officers forcibly took Champion to the ground. The officers handcuffed and hobbled Champion (tied his ankles together) to prevent him from kicking. While Champion lay on the ground the officers applied asphyxiating pressure to Champion and pepper sprayed him. Champion went into cardiac arrest while he was on the ground. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

 

In the trial that followed, Champion v. Outlook Nashville, Inc.,18 the trial court found that the arresting officers had violated Champion’s Fourth Amendment rights, had used excessive force, and were not entitled to qualified immunity. The court awarded Champion’s estate $900,000 for his wrongful death. On appeal, the appellate court upheld the trial court’s decision and found that “the diminished capacity of an unarmed detainee must be taken into account when assessing the amount of force exerted.” The court held that the handcuffing, hobbling, and the continued pepper-spraying of a developmentally disabled adult violated his clearly established constitutional right to be free from excessive force and that no reasonable officer would have proceeded in the manner of the arresting officers.

 

In a more recent case, a man who was perceived as having a disability was “tased” because the officer feared that the man would not comply or would resist. In Bryan v. MacPherson,19 the plaintiff was stopped at an intersection by a law enforcement officer because Bryan was not wearing his seatbelt. The plaintiff was upset because this was the second time he had been pulled over in the same day. Once the plaintiff pulled his car over and put it in park, he exited the vehicle and began to yell expletives at himself and began to hit himself. The officer testified that he had told plaintiff to stay in the car but Bryan stated that he never heard that command.

 

The officer eventually deployed his taser when he believed that plaintiff had taken a step toward him. The officer argued that the use of his taser was justified because he believed that the plaintiff was “mentally ill and subject to detention.” The court found that if the officer did believe the plaintiff to be mentally ill, that he should have “made greater efforts to take control of the situation through less intrusive means.” The court also found that the officer’s use of his stun gun was excessive force noting that, “the governmental interest in using force is diminished by the fact that the officers are confronted with a mentally ill individual.” Moreover, the court found that a “mentally ill individual is in need of a doctor, not a jail cell.”

 

In this case, the court identified that officers should utilize a different continuum of force on individuals who either have, or are perceived to have, a disability. The court also found that there was ample time to warn the plaintiff to not move, but that the officer did not make his instructions clear. This case highlights the importance of communication between officer and arrestee and makes clear that the courts will consider a suspect’s real or perceived disability, and that law enforcement officers must do so as well.

 

In a case that made headlines, 26 year old Ethan Saylor died when he suffered a fractured larynx after being handcuffed and forced to the ground by local sheriff’s deputies. Ethan had an I.Q. of 40 and was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The incident occurred when Ethan was attempting to see a movie for a second time without paying for a second ticket. The movie theatre contacted three off-duty sheriff’s deputies to remove Ethan from the theatre. Ethan’s caretaker spoke with the deputies and the theatre manager and requested that no one touch or attempt to talk to Ethan because it may cause him to become frustrated. Despite that request, the three officers handcuffed Ethan and he ended up on the floor where the pressure applied by the arresting officers fractured his larynx.

 

In the court’s determination of whether the defendant officers were entitled to qualified immunity, it noted that “Mr. [Ethan] Saylor responded in precisely the way [his caretaker] informed the Deputies he would respond, because of his disability, if touched by strangers.” The failure to communicate is clear and the court found that the “most significant unsettled question is the reason for the escalation in the Deputies’ use of force.” The court ultimately found that the deputies were not entitled to qualified immunity and that Ethan’s estate can proceed with a failure to train claim, various liability under Title II of the ADA, and damages under Title II against the state.

 

In terms of settlements, a relatively recent case is illustrative of the potential damages that plaintiffs may receive for a law enforcement officer’s miscommunication and the harms that result. In Chaudhry v. City of Los Angeles,20 the decedent, Mohammad Chaudhry was shot by police after miscommunication between them. Chaudhry was diagnosed with autism and had wandered away from home. When officers found him he waslaying on the grass outside of a residence. The officers proceeded to handcuff him, shoot him, and Chaudhry died.

 

Chaudhry’s parents brought a wrongful death and civil rights action against the City of Los Angeles, the chief of police, and the individual officers. Chaudhry’s parents alleged, among other things, that the officers failed to provide reasonable accommodations during the arrest and failed to provide effective communication to the disabled decedent. Chaudhry’s parents and the city settled the case with the city paying the decedent’s family $2.25 million. This is a clear example of a situation that could have been avoided by having police better communicate with an arrestee. This settlement further demonstrates that it is a much better policy to provide police training that better informs officers regarding encountering individuals with disabilities. Such a policy would likely have prevented the death of a detainee, and which in this case would have saved the city and its tax payers from having to incur such a costly injury settlement.

 

Best Practices

Law enforcement agencies tasked with ADA compliance may be looking for places to begin. The purpose of this article has been to give examples of police encounters that have gone wrong, and yet by doing so to also provide ideas for some best practices to avoid such tragic encounters. The U.S. Department of Justice noted that one of the best ways to avoid common problems between people with disabilities and law enforcement is through “training, sensitivity, and awareness.”21

 

It may help to contextualize what “training, sensitivity and awareness” may mean for police departments. One example is provided by the Philadelphia Police Department. Philadelphia implemented crisis intervention training for its officers and created a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) which partners with Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health to “bridge between the two worlds” of policing and mental health care.22 This partnership allows officers in the field to access a mental health professional for advice. The mental health officer can then activate health services to get a person in need, for example, back on needed medication, or to contact a homeless shelter for the individual, or to address issues, for example, for homeless veterans. Other departments have implemented different versions of crisis intervention training and intervention teams, which have made an impact on police-citizen relations.

 

When police come upon persons with disabilities it can often be the disability itself that complicates the encounter. This resulting complication may cause confusion, poor communication, misunderstanding, and at worst, the prospect of a risk of harm to the disabled person. Improved understanding and communication between the police and persons with disabilities can be improved through training, access to community resources, and an awareness of those instances and cases that resulted in tragic results.


 

1. United States Census Bureau, Nearly 1 in 5 People Have a Disability in the U.S., Census Bureau Reports, Available at: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb12-134.html

2. United States Department of Justice, Commonly Asked Questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act and Law Enforcement, Available at: https://www.ada.gov/q&a_law.htm

3. 42 USCA § 12132(1)(B).

4. The Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II Technical Assistance Manual, Available at: https://www.ada.gov/taman2.html#II-3.6000

5. City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, 135 S.Ct. 1765 (2015).

6. Lynn v. City of Indianapolis, WL3535554 (2014).

7. 207 F.3d 795 (5th Cir. 2000)

8. 121 F.Supp.3d (S.D.N.Y. 2015)

9. 972 F.Supp.2d (D.Conn. 2013)

10. See also: Hogan v. City of Easton, WL 5023838 (2007); Williams v. Officer Moceri, WL 7671503 (2012); Vinson v. McNesby WL 7054347 (2011)

11. 284 F.3d 543 (4th Cir. 2002)

12. 795 F.Supp.2d 117 (D.Mass 2011)

13. 810 F.3d 892 (4th Cir. 2016)

14. 410 F.Supp.2d 1280 (S.D.Fl. 2006)

15. The Court follows the logic of Hainze v. Richards, 207 F.3d 795 (2000), which holds that “Title II does not apply to an officer’s on-the-street responses to reported disturbances or other similar incidents…prior to the officer’s securing the scene and ensuring that there is no threat to human life.”

16. 673 F.3d 333 (4th Cir. 2012)

17. 966 F.Supp.2d 1246 (D.Utah 2013).

18. 380 F.3d 893 (6th Cir. 2004)

19. 630 F.3d 805 (9th Cir. 2010)

20. 2011 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 160910 (C.D.C.A.)

21. U.S. Department of Justice, Commonly Asked Questions, Q.5.

22. Police Executive Research Forum, An Integrated Approach to De-Escalation and Minimizing Use of Force, Available at: http://www.policeforum.org/assets/docs/Critical_Issues_Series/an%20integrated%20approach%20to%20de-escalation%20and%20minimizing%20use%20of%20force%202012.pdf