For advocates of the deaf, the case of a Colorado man who was jailed for resisting police orders he could not hear is yet another example of law enforcement failing to properly serve and protect a member of their community. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law three decades ago, law enforcement agencies are required to “provide effective communication.” But most police departments offer officers little, if any, training on how to interact with people who are deaf and fewer officers know even rudimentary sign language, the advocates said. “For the most part, police departments have not made any changes to address these systematic problems,” said Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, which is the nation’s oldest civil rights group for the deaf. “Typically, police departments implement training programs to educate their officers only after a tragedy happens to a deaf or hard-of-hearing person who has been mistreated by a police officer due to a lack of understanding and miscommunications.” The latest example of this apparent failure to communicate involves Brady Mistic, 26, a deaf Colorado man who relies on sign language and says two Idaho Springs police officers slammed him to the ground two years ago during an arrest despite his attempts to tell them that he could not understand their commands. Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing Go Link For Amazing On top of that, Mistic says, he was wrongfully jailed for four months and is now suing the officers, as well as the city of Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners. The second-degree assault on a police officer and resisting arrest charges lodged against Mistic were later dismissed, the suit says. When NBC News asked whether the officers involved in the Sept. 17, 2019, incident had been trained to deal with deaf suspects, Idaho Springs Police Chief Nathan Buseck forwarded a press release with their version of the encounter with Mistic. It says the fact that Mistic is deaf was “not known to the officers during the initial encounter” and they subdued him “to gain control of Mr. Mistic by placing him into handcuffs due to his unexplained actions.” Mistic’s lawyer, Raymond Bryant, said he suspects the officers had no training to interact with somebody like his client. “At this point, we cannot speak with any detail about departmental training on ADA issues,” Bryant said in an email. “We expect to learn more in litigation. But when we requested the departmental policies from Idaho Springs PD, we were provided only a recent policy enacted in 2021. This leads me to believe the department did not have sufficient policies in place in 2019 and, as a result, did not likely have adequate training in place either.” That apparent lack of training does not surprise Maria Haberfeld, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and an expert of policing. “There are over 18,000 police departments in the U.S. and their training differs tremendously,” said Haberfeld, the author of “Use of Force Training in Law Enforcement: A Reality Based Approach." “I know of very few departments that actually incorporate such training.” Why? “It is definitely a matter of resources,” she said. “Training is very costly, and specialized training gets very little allocation in general, usually in the aftermath of a high-profile case.” Rosenblum agreed. And what little training the officers get doesn’t appear to change the police mindset, he said.