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Hearing Disabled Woman Says Officer Beat Her Because She Didn’t Understand His Orders

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A woman who is disabled in both hearing and mental abilities was beaten severely by police for failing to follow their instructions.  The woman had black eyes and serious facial bruises after officers punched her repeatedly.   Apparently, the woman couldn’t understand the officers’ orders, and the officers couldn’t understand that she was disabled.

Megan Graham called 911 after the incident, telling her story about police brutality.  She says that she was pulled over and hit in the face by the officers.  The Federal Way Police Department is telling a different story, stating that Graham was the one who was violent.

The woman is facing a felony charge of assaulting a police officer.   When she was pulled over, the woman thought that she was in trouble for using her cell phone while driving.

Officer Justin Antholt asked Graham for her license and registration. The woman then pulled out her license and an expired insurance card.  The woman says that she got out of the car and told the officer that she was carrying her dog to her friend’s house.

She says that when the officer told her to get back into the car, she didn’t understand his orders.   That’s when she says that she was beaten.  The officer suffered a scratch to his cheek in the incident.

“I pulled my arm back, grabbed my phone and called 911 to call for help,” she said. “I told the officer I had mental and hearing disabilities, and didn’t understand why he was trying to hurt me.”

One odd thing about the story, however, is that a woman with mental and hearing disabilities was driving while talking on her cell phone.

“How dare you even touch me,” she said to the officer while she was on the phone.

The officer responded by saying “You’re under arrest. Put your hands behind your back and stop resisting.”

Another officer, Ashley Crispin, then arrived on the scene and helped the first officer to get the suspect onto the ground.

“I could taste the blood going into the back of my sinuses,” she said. “Once I was on the ground, I was hurt. … All of a sudden there’s all these cops on top of me pushing my face in the ground. … It was just so unbelievably horrific and upsetting.”

Federal Way police are saying that the when the officer approached the woman, she clenched her fist and tried to hit the officer. Graham’s friend Deborah Fenwick disagrees, saying that in no way was she resisting arrest.

“That woman doesn’t have a violent bone in her body,” Fenwick said. “She’s got a heart of gold. If she would have understood the officer’s commands in the first place, she would have absolutely complied with him.”

The case is currently under review.