There is no doubt that crime shows it ugly head in many ways; some of which are tragic and bizarre. Daily News reported yesterday that two deaf men were having a conversation using sign language in Burlington, North Carolina when a third party saw them and mistakenly took the signs to be gang signs. This unfortunate event led to the stabbing of an innocent deaf man. Terrance Erwin Daniels was stabbed repeatedly with a kitchen knife. A neighbor witnessed the horrific event and called emergency personnel. The victim, Mr. Daniels is in stable condition at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
Daily News goes on to say, ” Police arrested 22-year Robert Jarell Neal and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and felony assault on a handicapped person. He's being held in the Alamance County jail. It's not known if Neal has an attorney.”
The city of Burlington, NC, report that, “Currently in NC, it is not a crime to be in a gang. However, the crimes committed while in the presence or in association of a street gang, are tried as aggravating factors in the court system.”
The website goes on to say, “Burlington has a rapidly increasing level of criminal gangs and related crime and delinquency reported in our schools and community. There are 87 separate documented gangs in Alamance County and over 460 validated gang members in Alamance County and an unknown number of associates. Crimes range from the presence of Gang graffiti to assaults.”
There have been other instances where deaf people in particular have been victims of crimes across the nation. For example, The San Jose Mercury News (September 9, 2007) reported that two teenagers were arrested for a hate crime against a group of deaf people in which one young deaf man sustained an injury to his head.
Alldeaf.com covered an article written by Carl N. Schroeder, president of the Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD. He reported, “How at his first teaching job, a school official reported him for using sign language in the classroom.”
Furthermore, discrimination against the deaf can occur in various working environments including a law firm. North Iowa Today reported that a law firm has to pay 30K in damages for discriminating against deaf people.
The hearing impaired can be victims in any situation anywhere on the planet. They expect it when encountering other people, now they must watch who is watching them when they sign!