NYPD Arrests Innocent Deaf Woman – Refuses her a Translator

After a disagreement with their tenants, two deaf landlords decided to get the help of their local law enforcement, who are required by law to offer translation. What they actually did will make you angry.

According to Filming Cops:

Setting back the clock before the Americans with Disabilities Act, New York City argued the “extraordinary position” that it did not need to get a deaf woman a translator before arresting her, a federal judge said.

The scathing opinion dismisses the city’s final attempt to avert a trial in a civil rights lawsuit by Diana Williams, a 58-year-old deaf landlord from Staten Island.

On Sept. 11, 2011, Diana and her husband Chris Williams tried to evict tenants who had fallen behind on their rent.

Both of the Williamses are deaf, and neither of them can speak more than a few words verbally.

When the tenant’s hearing boyfriend gestured that he had a gun, Chris called for the police using a video relay service that the couple says should have tipped off the dispatcher to send help quickly – and bring a translator, the judge’s ruling states.

Instead, the NYPD arrived without an American Sign Language interpreter and police heard only the tenants’ side of the altercation, they say.

U.S. District Judge Valierie Caproni called arresting officer Christopher Romano’s memory of the encounter “at best hazy.”

“Curiously,” in the words of the judge, Romano insisted in a deposition that he spoke to Diana Williams – who cannot hear, speak English or read lips – before arresting her.

Williams says that Romano arrested her without making any effort to communicate, and he could not understand her pleas for an ASL interpreter

Other tenants at the scene testified that police rejected their offers to interpret for them before they brought Williams in handcuffs to the 122nd Precinct.

Williams says that police held her for nearly 24 hours before releasing her without charges.

That's not how those who are supposed to protect and serve should act.

Source: Filming Cops



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