On September 11, 2011, Chris Williams and his wife Diana, who are both deaf, attempted to evict tenants who hadn’t been paying their rent. When they tried to evict them the tenants boyfriend showed a gesture like he had a gun. So they called the police using a video relay service. The police likely should have known by the video that they were both deaf and they would need a translator. When the NYPD showed up to the scene they arrived without a translator and later didn’t even bother to call one, even though neither Chris nor Diana can hear, speak English, or read lips. The NYPD ignored the deaf landlords and only questioned the tenants that could talk the whole time.
The police never once tried to hear Chris and Diana’s side of the story even though several deaf tenants in the building offered to help Officer Romano translate. He turned them down and decided to arrest Diana Williams based on the false account offered by the tenant’s boyfriend. After he arrested her, Romano falsely checked “No” on the arrest report that asked if an interpreter was needed and also checked “No” on other paper work that asked if Williams had a disability. Diana’s Husband arrived at the precinct with a translator but the NYPD officers told him that if they didn’t leave they would arrest him. They kept Diana for 24 hours and within that time the police held her in handcuffs chained to a wall and injected her with a sedative until the morning.
Williams filed a Federal lawsuit against the NYPD in 2012 accusing cops of violating her civil rights and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. The officer responsible for all of this is not facing any punishment. Just last week, Williams agreed to settle the lawsuit for $750,000. Although the incompetent police officer will not have to pay any of this money, the innocent taxpayers will pick up the tab.
“Incompetent Cops Arrest Innocent Death Woman, Kidnap, Sedate, and Humiliate Her,” Blacklisted News; October 29, 2015. www.blacklistednews.com
Student Researcher: Ashton Adkins, Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College