Should Police Departments Provide Interpreters? Berlin’s Lack of a Spanish Interpreter Caused the False Imprisonment of a Pregnant Woman, lawsuit claims.

I’ve mention before the cacophony of languages you’ll see plastered over the windows of the 7 train in Queens, announcing service disruptions along the line.

The reason for that is due to the number of neighborhoods the train travels through.

Neighborhoods where the majority of the residents speak either Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Korean.

So while it irks those of us who prefer English only, the Transit Authority thinks otherwise.

Keeping in line with that, is a lawsuit filed by a pregnant woman who claims she was being falsely imprisoned because the police in one South Jersey department didn’t understand her.

Apparently the Berlin Police Department doesn’t have a Spanish interpreter on staff.

But then again, having been in Berlin, I didn’t get the sense that there was much of a need for it.

Long story short (if possible), the woman is claiming that the department had to provide a translator to those who are “Limited English Proficient.” By not doing so, they violated, according to their lawyer, they violated the 4th and 14th amendments to the Constitution.

She eventually gave birth in jail, and subsequently lost custody of the newborn as well as her two other children upon being released from jail.

Finding out that her home had been broken into and all her belongings had been robbed, she’s seeking damages for physical injury, suffering, and other relief.

All because the Berlin Police Department couldn’t provide a competent Spanish translator.

However she did leave her kids in the car while she went to the bathroom. Let’s not forget that!

I don't think a translator would have been able to clear her of the fact that she left her kids unattended in the car while she went to use the bathroom. So to claim that all her problems were caused by Berlin's lack of a Spanish translator falls flat.

But sue she will.

Question is: do you feel police departments now required to have foreign translators on staff?