Brookings, OR — Jennifer Gayman, 49, suffers from a degenerative eye disease and pulmonary disease and relies on a mobile electric scooter to get around. She had been using the scooter for years to get around without incident until 2018 when two of Brookings’ finest decided to target her for revenue collection. Now, because two cops preyed on a disabled woman for money, the taxpayers of Brookings will likely be shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars.
An attorney for Gayman released the body camera footage this week from her stop on November 19, 2018 as part of a $500,000 lawsuit.
The incident unfolded as Gayman was on her way home from singing karaoke with some friends. Like she had done countless times before, Gayman rode her scooter down the sidewalk back to her house.
Gayman would not make it home this time, however, because two cops would stop her claiming that she could not be on her scooter on the sidewalk, in a crosswalk or without a helmet, according to her suit.
Clearly shocked that she was hearing this from the cops, Gayman challenged their assertions, claiming — and rightfully so — that she is disabled and therefore did not have to have on a helmet to ride her assistive scooter. Gayman apparently knew the law better than the officers who had to pull out their cellphones to try and find the correct law.
They claimed to have found the law and then issued Gayman three citations: operating the scooter in a crosswalk, unsafe operation of the scooter and failure to wear protective headgear.
These heroic cops then told the woman that she could not ride her scooter home and refused to give her a ride. They were completely resolute in the notion of leaving a disabled woman on the side of the road, stranded in the middle of the night. Her home was two miles away and with her condition, it would have been nearly impossible to make it.
“I want to go home. You guys are pulling me over for no reason,’’ she told them. “You take my disability act, and you’re throwing it in the garbage.’’
Having no other options to get herself home, Gayman started driving away on her scooter. This would result in the officers claiming she was “eluding” them. The world’s most pathetic police pursuit then began as the officers turned on their lights and sirens and even radioed in for backup — for a disabled woman trying to get home on her electronic scooter.
When Gayman finally got to her house, she found herself surrounded by cops like she had just robbed a bank. She was then arrested and brought to jail for eluding police and interfering with an officer. Unfortunately, Gayman was found guilty of attempting to elude police and she was sentenced to five days in jail and 18 months of probation.
Now she is suing the police department for escalating this incident solely based on their ignorance of the law.
As Oregon Live reports:
Attorney Jacob Johnstun, who is representing Gayman in her civil suit, said the officers looked up state law on scooters but didn’t take into account how the law applies to a disabled woman.
The suit contends the officers violated her rights under federal disabilities law, which says government municipalities must provide accommodations for people with disabilities who require the assistance of a mobility aid or device.
Under the American with Disabilities Act, “certain local rules and laws do not apply to persons with disabilities while they are utilizing their mobility devices,’’ such as the requirement of the use of a helmet or other protective head gear while using a scooter under Oregon state law, Johnstun argues in the suit.
“It is ridiculous,’’ Johnstun said. “It strains belief that any officer can really believe that the law required a disabled woman to have to get off their scooter and walk it across the crosswalk.’’
Ridiculous indeed. Oregon Statute, 2017 ORS 814.550 (emphasis added) clearly states that Gayman was in violation of no laws.
An electric personal assistive mobility device is not a motor vehicle for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code, except when specifically provided by statute.
(3)A person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk is subject to any provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk, except when otherwise specifically provided by statute.
Below is this most infuriating video showing two cops who had nothing better to do that night than harass a disabled woman for trying to get home — riding a scooter that she could’ve driven down the aisles of a grocery store.
This is why rapes and murders are rarely solved.