A deaf North Las Vegas woman had a tense moment with police after she was pulled over, handcuffed and then her children were made to interpret for police.
Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth spoke with Fox5 about what took place and why she began livestreaming the April 7 police stop.
“I don’t know, I’m being pulled over and he is interrogating me … I am Black, I am deaf, George Floyd just happened,” Hollingsworth told the news station over Zoom using a sign language interpreter. “The police officer pulled my arm … and I was like, ‘whoa, why?’ I have never experienced anything like that in my life,” Hollingsworth said.
In a video of the incident viewed by Fox 5, the officer can be heard telling Hollingsworth’s twin 11-year-old daughters to also get out of the car.
“I will have you come with me so you can talk,” the officer says to the child.
“I’m saying, ‘Look at this. We need to text, we need to write,’ and he just kept on talking,” Hollingsworth recalled.
The office tells the twins that he’s investigating their mom, who was in the area to collect rent money from her landlord after moving out early. Turns out that the landlord called the police on Hollingsworth, although why the landlord called the cops wasn’t fully explained.
“She is just here because she needs her money back from her friend,” one of the 11-year-olds tells the officer on the video, Fox 5.
Hollingsworth was taken out of her car and forced to sit down on the curb and handcuffed at that point she wouldn’t be able to use her phone to communicate with the officer.
At one point, the officer can be heard telling the twins: “One of you guys need to talk some sense into her.”
Andrew Rozynski, a deaf rights lawyer with Eisenberg & Baum in New York, one of the top firms in the country, told Fox 5 that kids should never be put in this position.
“Requiring an 11-year-old to interpret in a police situation is against the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are regulations in there that expressly prohibit children from being used as interpreters,” Rozynski said.
Fox 5 notes that “many police departments have 24-hour interpreter services for multiple languages, including sign language.”
“There are services out there such as video relay, in which someone can bring up an interpreter on an iPhone or iPad,” Rozynski explained.
“I never thought this would happen to me because I am not a criminal,” Hollingsworth said, adding that her daughters were traumatized.
“My kids are afraid because of all the incidents that have been happening recently. They are raised Black in this community, so when they see a police officer, they are also on high alert,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth is demanding that the police department either change or adhere to policy when dealing with the hearing impaired community.
“I really want all of Las Vegas police to change, because it is really scary how deaf people are treated. If my kids weren’t with me, then I would have died that day. My kids saved my life,” Hollingsworth said.
NLVPD claimed that they investigated the incident, writing Hollingsworth “initially refused to comply with requests and was briefly detained until police completed their investigation.”
NLVPD is short for these police are full of shit.