Tennessee Deputies Taser Deaf Teen who Failed to Hear their Commands

The teen ended up losing his $8,000 cochlear hearing implant because he was tasered.

A Tennessee sheriff said his deputies were forced to make a "split second judgement call" when they tasered a 19-year-old man in the back as he walked away from them because he had refused their commands.

But it turns out, Brett Elkins could not hear their commands because he is deaf.

And to make matters worse, the tasering caused the deaf teenager to lose his cochlear hearing implant, an $8,000 device that is smaller than a thumbdrive.

The incident took place on October 11 when Campbell County sheriff's deputies were responding to a domestic dispute between at a house where Elkins' friends lived, according to WATE.

Elkins had gone to a friend’s house to use their phone to have his mother pick him up. As he was leaving the house, he didn’t know that Campbell County deputies had been called there for a domestic dispute between Brett’s friends.

Jamie Wilhoit, Elkins’ mother, saying, “He was walking, he felt a shock, his arms fell beside him, and he fell over. He assumed it was his cochlear, that it had malfunctioned, that was the first thing he thought. He was scared and crying. His cochlear implant had died, the batteries weren’t working, it wasn’t charged.”

Elkins’ implant was new, it came from TennCare. He said somehow it fell off after being tased.

He and his mother went back to look for it, but it hasn’t been found.

Campbell County sheriff's deputies later released Elkins after determining he had nothing to do with the domestic violence call to which they were responding.

And after local media got involved, the sheriff told the family they would pay to replace the device.

“Wow! Oh my God, oh, they cared, they cared," said Elkins' mother, Jamie Wilhoit, upon receiving the news.

But lost is the fact that there was no need to taser Elkins in the first place considering he was not a threat to anybody.

Comments (8)
No. 1-5
GregoryThomas
GregoryThomas

Sue the department for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act...that makes it a Federal suit which will keep it out of the lower courts where the cops can get the judge to dismiss it. The 1st offense will cost them $75,000.00...not to mention the cost of the implant and the costs of reinstalling the implant....plus any pain & suffering.

Tatoo49
Tatoo49

Once again, easier to say sorry than to think before acting. Brainless, chicken-shit, bullies once again forgiven for being dumb cops. As long as we have police, we all need to fear for our lives. Cops actually kill and maim more people than they help. Nature of the job? NO. Just Bad Cops.

CathyW
CathyW

The sad part really is when the stupid cops gets sued, it's the taxpayers that pay, not the stupid cop. Taxpayer money supports the police, so when a suit is paid out, it should come from the amount the police gets. No new equipment, no raises, no unworked pay, i.e. vacation time, holiday pay, even lay offs if necessary. Maybe then they'll really police themselves when the whole group loses for ones bad actions. Something has to give. Cops are killing innocent people every day. They've declared war on the public and there will come a time when the public fights back.

Toothbrush Bandit
Toothbrush Bandit

Can't imagine being such a p***y that you taser a kid in the back

supervisionrequired
supervisionrequired

DON'T ACCEPT THE CHEAP WAY OUT! take them to court and get paid! the piggys fucked up and need to held accountable. as far as the piggy getting anything more then a slap on the wrist, we already know that will go! but now the victim is in a good position to get policy changes mandated! like DON'T shoot, taze or attack someone from behind that is not hearing and/ or paying attention to you or your commands! of course common since should kick in and take over! we already know that common sense, intelligence, and IQ are something cops have VERY little of!