•  Email Info@bazzilaw.com
  •   Call : (313) 978-0000
  • Fax : (313) 960-4400


SF Woman Settles Lawsuit for Arrest After Police Deny Her a Translator

Mar 11 2018

What Happened?

In her lawsuit, Mejia claimed that her ex-partner attacked her in her apartment and then called the police to report that she had attacked him. By the time officers

arrived at the apartment, he had left and Mejia was told to "communicate in English as best she could" after the officers refused to provide her with an interpreter. However, the officers did provide the ex-partner with an interpreter during a phone interview, and his account led to her arrest. Although she only spent one night in jail after prosecutors didn't charge her, she ended up being separated from her 3 children for a month because her ex-partner had obtained a restraining order.

In a report on the case, San Francisco's Office of Citizen Complaints found that officers "had violated department policies on language services." In fact, a police officer spoke to Mejia's 5-year-old daughter, who told the officer that she saw Mejia's partner get on top of her mom and try to kiss her before she pushed him away. The report stated that the police ignored what the child said and prevented Mejia from explaining what happened by not providing her with an interpreter.

Fixing Department Policies

Saira Hussain, Mejia's lawyer, expressed that certain improvements have been made to police policies, which includes requiring immediate translation of statements by non-English speakers and requiring officers to watch a video training them on how to respond to domestic violence.

Commander David Lazar also told the Police Commission that now officers "have a list as to who's certified to respond" to an officer who needs bilingual help (in the past, a dispatcher would just put out a call for volunteers). A police spokesman said that the police department is also "offering department members training on interpreter skills and testing eligible officers to help expand the ranks of the LEP (limited English proficiency) program."

Related Resources:

Read 6 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Speak with Our Professionals Now

Call (313) 978-0000

Imigration Law, Work Visa , Criminal Law

Family Law, Probate, Business Transactions


Contact Info

Bazzi Law, PLC
25639 Ford Road Suite 201
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

 313 978 0000

313 960 4400

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 9.00 am to 7.00 pm