A deaf man has filed a lawsuit against former Idaho Springs police officer Nicholas Hanning, current ISPD officer Ellie Summers, the City of Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek Board of County Commissioners after he was arrested and jailed following a September 2019 traffic stop.
Brady Mistic and his legal team filed the complaint and jury demand on Sept. 17, 2021 in federal court. The claim states that Mistic was the victim of “unnecessary police force and wrongful incarceration,” and that neither ISPD officers nor jail staff had adequate training or equipment to accommodate him.
These circumstances are “likely demonstrative of much larger systematic problems” within the city and jail, the claim states.
Mistic was stopped by Hanning and Summers around 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2019, in the 1300 block of Miner Street for a reported stop-sign violation.
Because Mistic is deaf, he uses American Sign Language to communicate, according to the claim. He cannot lip-read and can only vocalize a few words.
Mistic, then 24, attempted to communicate with the officers using his hands. Hanning and Summers, who were unaware Mistic was deaf, told him to get back in his vehicle, a Sept. 23 ISPD news release states.
Both Mistic’s claim and ISPD explain that Hanning put Mistic into handcuffs because of his unexplained actions, and that Hanning sustained a broken leg during the altercation.
The claim states, though, that Hanning was unnecessarily forceful when restraining Mistic. He reportedly didn’t give Mistic any warning, grabbed his sweatshirt and threw him to the ground, with Mistic’s head hitting the concrete.
Mistic, who was unarmed, was hit with a stun-gun twice and yelled “no ears” during the altercation in an attempt to communicate that he was deaf, according to his lawsuit.