Scratch and Sniff?! / 1 May 2009
So what happens when an armed police officer shouts at a Deaf person to stop?! Well, apparently because a Deaf person is part of the ‘special population groups’ or SPG’s for short, we are assured that the officer in question will not shoot first and ask questions afterwards. His “special training” will come in to play and everything will be OK.
SPG’s by the way are “a group of people who do not behave in an expected, rational manner as a result of some form of mental impairment (either permanent or temporary)… Similar issues may be encountered when there are communication difficulties, such as when the subject is deaf or has a different first language.” Or, presumably has an impairment that means they use a different method of communication.
Makes you wonder what sort of training armed police officers go through to achieve this level of awareness doesn’t it. Deaf people must obviously look different, or perhaps smell different enough for your average gun totting copper to recognise that they’re not in fact ignoring them deliberately, it’s just ‘cause they’re ‘special’. Perhaps they have a scratch and sniff section in their training manual in order to perfect this skill (wonder what wheelchair users smell like?!)
I understand that the Police Complaints Commission is sufficiently worried about the problem though to raise it as a concern regarding the safety of innocent Deaf people in an armed response situation.
What do all you other SPG’s out there think?