OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — A deaf man who was injured by troopers during a traffic stop will not be going to trial. Prosecutors dropped charges against Pearl Pearson Jr. just weeks before his trial was scheduled to begin.
Pearson said he could not hear troopers request and tried to inform troopers he was deaf.
Video of the stop show troopers yelling at Pearson and pulling him from his vehicle. Pearson says troopers beat him. He was arrested and his mug shot shows some injuries.
Court documents say Pearson fought the officers and resisted arrest. The district attorney cleared the troopers of any criminal wrongdoing in the case, but charged Pearson with a misdemeanor of resisting arrest.
Attorneys for Pearson had successfully argued Pearson needed special interpreters for his trial. Pearson learned sign language during segregation, which means his way of communicating differs from traditional American Sign Language, or ASL. District Attorney David Prater, who appeared for the state in person at the hearing requesting interpreters, did not object to the request.
Pearson’s attorney, Scott Adams, says prosecutors told him they were dismissing the case due to the costs associated with the special interpreters for court. The case was scheduled to go to trial next week.
Online court records indicate the case was dismissed without cost to Pearson, though he has had to pay for his own defense attorneys.
Court documents filed by prosecutors say the cost of Pearson’s misdemeanor trial could meet or exceed $40,000.
“It is the District Attorney’s responsibility to be a good steward of the taxpayer’s money,” Prater wrote. “Though it is important to prosecute matters to promote public safety and assure that the State of Oklahoma’s laws are enforced, the financial burden placed on the State to prosecute a matter is a legitimate consideration; especially as in this case, the matter is a misdemeanor.”