*New video shows two North Las Vegas police officers using a deaf woman’s children to interpret while detaining their mother.
The incident occurred last month and the officers handling of the deaf woman has been condemned by Nevada’s ACLU chapter several deaf organizations who say the cops violated the Americans with Disabilities Act –
Here’s more from TMZ:
The lady’s name is Andrea Hollingsworth, and she recorded the encounter last month after running into a North Las Vegas PD cop … who was responding to a call alleging Hollingsworth was stalking/harassing someone outside of their home.
Hollingsworth makes clear during the incident that she’s deaf and can’t hear the officer as he tried figuring out what was going on … but lost his patience constantly. Another officer arrives on the scene not too long after and also expresses frustration with Hollingsworth.
Eventually, the officers get one of her kids — who was riding with her when they got approached — to try and be in the intermediary … this as they put Hollingsworth in cuffs and sat her down on the curb. It’s a distressing situation — you can hear the children crying and Hollingsworth desperately tries to both reassure them and talk to the cops at the same time.
A deaf woman was handcuffed in North Las Vegas in front of her children as the girls were asked to interpret for police. Video of the incident is causing outrage in the deaf community nationwide. @KimPassoth reports.
— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) April 15, 2021
In the two hours of video released Thursday by the North Las Vegas Police Department, the children explain that they were waiting for a friend of their mother who owed Hollingsworth’s money.
Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, said police departments have professional interpreters available, and one should have been called to the scene.
“Family members, including minor children, are inherently not impartial and often do not possess the requisite training or vocabulary to interpret effectively or accurately,” Rosenblum said. “To rely on children to interpret is extremely risky — not only is it automatically ineffective communication under federal law, but it is often very traumatizing for the children and the parent.”
North Las Vegas police spokesman Alex Cuevas confirmed that the department has sign language interpreters available on call 24/7, but could not explain why one was not called for Hollingsworth.
Officer Michael Rose wrote in his report that Hollingsworth was “very uncooperative” and described her use of sign language as “constant erratic hand movements.”
Hollingsworth was detained by officers for more than 30 minutes before she was released back to her car. No charges were filed against her.