A disabled Delaware couple has filed a federal suit against the state police department after officers beat and used a stun gun on the husband when his quadriplegic wife failed to follow orders to stand up because, ahem, she couldn’t, according to The News Journal.
The couple, Ruther and Lisa Hayes of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, claim that police commanders failed to train officers in the “constitutional bounds and limits concerning the use of force, especially when it came to interactions with disabled people,” the report says. Ruther is a disabled veteran taking medication for schizophrenia, notes the news outlet.
The incident occurred in June 2014 during a drug raid that targeted their two nephews who lived at the home. Only one of the nephews was charged with a crime: possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the report.
In the lawsuit’s narrative, members of the DSP’s Special Operations Response Team entered a bedroom to find Lisa Hayes on a bed and Ruther Hayes cleaning her with a sponge bath. Lisa Hayes’s wheelchair was in the room; five other family members in the home had already told officers that Lisa Hayes could not move her legs.
But with weapons pointed at Lisa Hayes, the police officers used profanity and “shouted at her to do that which she could not: stand up,” the lawsuit says.
When Ruther Hayes tried to cover her with a sheet, the lawsuit says, officers pushed him down, punched him repeatedly and hit him twice with a stun gun. After the raid, Ruther Hayes was detained and charged with resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped.
This is yet another powerful example of the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Without the movement, instances of police violence and brutality would continue to be swept under the rug. #BlackLivesMatter.