Nyle DiMarco recently appeared on the political comedy series Full Frontal with Samantha Bee to discuss that it’s not just people of color who face abuse and discrimination at the hands of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
He took part in a segment called ‘Stop Doing That’, which Bee describes as a ‘video series to retrain police officers like you’.
Bee begins the video, explaining: ‘The last 37 parts focused on how not to shoot unarmed people of color. But today we’re talking about another group of people mistreated by police, the Deaf and hard of hearing.’
DiMarco then joins Bee to discuss things law enforcement agents shouldn’t do when interacting with Deaf people.
These lessons include: not interpreting sign language as threatening hand gestures, not telling Deaf people to read lips, and providing a certified interpreter.
Then DiMarco suddenly interrupts the video for a new segment called ‘Nyle Takes His Shirt Off so You’ll Pay Attention to Deaf Rights’.
Horror interpreted through comedy
As a comedy show, there are several laugh-out-loud moments, including DiMarco taking his shirt off. However, the video also highlights several horrifying accounts of Deaf people’s interactions with law enforcement.
In one story shown, police pull over a driver on the highway. They quickly act when the driver does not put his hands out, not knowing he’s deaf and cannot hear them.
A photo of the Deaf driver in the hospital shows him with his eyes swollen shut.
Video footage shows the officers realizing he resisted because he was getting his ‘driver is Deaf’ card to show them. Then they laugh about ‘messing up’ the man’s face.
All of the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Amber Farrelly, an defense attorney for Deaf clients, reveals in the video that half of all people killed by police in the US have disabilities.
DiMarco tweeted out the video and wrote that he wants the video to ‘bring awareness’ and help people ‘peacefully interact’ with Deaf individuals.