Police brutality is a hard thing to address especially here in America however in Canada, the Association of the Deaf has taken a stand. There was a video posted online showing a Deaf man being oppressed by police officers in Burlington, Canada. A hearing person may watch the video and think that it’s a basic arrest procedure however any Deaf person that signs would be outraged.
“it doesn’t matter if someone is arrested five times or 100 times, its their basic right for proper arrest procedures to occur.” Donald Prong, Executive Director of Ontario Association of the Deaf said in a video interview with City News Toronto.
During his interview, he also mentioned that it’s been awhile since the last time they’ve had to address a situation with the police and their lack of respect for the Deaf community. This had happened when a deaf man was shot and killed. Watching the video, Donald is reacting to the fact that the police officers have placed the man’s arms behind his back taking away his right to speak. His right to communicate. Pointing at the video, he shows obvious agitation for the idea that somebody’s human rights have been taken away.
Donald also points out that Deaf people are used to seeing people’s body language showing that they look down on us. It’s all about the fact that many hearing people don’t know how to address us. The first thing they do is be stumped. It’s not about being oppressive but their privilege as a hearing person. That’s what these police officers did and how they oppressed this deaf man.
Check out the video on CityNews Toronto Facebook Page.
Ontario Association of the Deaf works with the Deaf community to provide advocacy services, Education, and Deaf outreach programs. They also publish position papers and provide resources and letters.