Couple Files Lawsuit Against Delaware State Police After Disabled Veteran Is Beaten because His Quadriplegic Wife Could Not Stand Up

Lisa Hayes

A disabled Delaware couple have filed a lawsuit against Delaware State Police after what they say was their horrific interaction with officers conducting a drug raid in their home in June 2014, the News Journal reports.

According to the report, officers beat and used a stun gun on Ruther Hayes, a disabled veteran who takes medication for schizophrenia, while he was trying to cover his wife, whom he was sponge-bathing just before the raid. The Hayeses claim in their federal lawsuit that commanders failed to train officers in the “constitutional bounds and limits concerning the use of force,” particularly when dealing with disabled people.

The Hayeses’ two nephews were the true targets of the raid and were arrested at the home, the Journal reports. However, only one was charged with drug crimes and eventually pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Other charges, which included illegal possession of prescription medication and possession of drugs, were dropped.

The lawsuit claims that state-police Special Operations Response Team officers entered a bedroom to find Ruther Hayes sponge-bathing his wife, Lisa Hayes, who was lying on the bed. Lisa Hayes’ wheelchair was in the room, and family members had already told officers that Lisa Hayes, who has cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, could not move her legs.

“You don’t have to keep saying she is disabled. We get it,” one of the officers allegedly said.

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Source: The Root | BREANNA EDWARDS