[Footage: 18 minute video of Alison [White signing womxn with short spiky brown hair, and a long sleeved black shirt] signing vlog style. She is seated and the backdrop is black. She is translating the English based posing that was shared on Facebook by Talila Lewis about police officers who sign].
This is not legal advice nor is it intended to be.
Original post by Talila TL Lewis:
If you have never believed anything else I have shared, believe me when I tell you this: the single greatest predictor of a Deaf wrongful conviction is whether there was a “signing” cop around.
Beware of “DHH Liaisons”–especially if they do not have DDBDDHH people on paid staff (pretty sure that covers all of them). There is a lot behind this that I will not get into here, but this is a nationwide issue and I need to be very clear on my position about this.
If you are DDBDDHH, PLEASE do NOT engage with cops if you are being questioned about anything. It does not matter if you are innocent, partly innocent, guilty, partly guilty, or just plain confused about what they are asking.
DO NOT ENGAGE WITH THEM.
What do you do instead?
Express these four things only:
1. I am [DDBDDHH].
2. I require an attorney.
3. I require a qualified interpreter (& C/DI if you would like to request one–but C/DI will not necessarily be provided)
4. I wish to remain silent.
*sit on your hands, turn off your voice, close your eyes, go to sleep, whatever it takes not to communicate with cops–do it as if your life depends on it because it does*
Often a “signing” cop or interpreter will show up and the DDBDDHH person will feel a huge sense of relief that someone they can “communicate with” has arrived. Do not take the bait. It is a trap. Do not communicate with police officers. Wait for an attorney. You will be released or an attorney will show up who will support you.
Even if the interpreter shows up, do not talk to any of the cops who are there. You need an attorney. If you can not afford an attorney, you will be provided an attorney at no cost. Interpreters are paid for by the government as well so demand them.
Cops may tell you it will take many many many hours for an interpreter/attorney to arrive. WAIT for both for however long it takes.
I repeat: DO NOT SIGN, TALK TO, WRITE BACK AND FORTH WITH, GESTURE, or COMMUNICATE IN ANY OTHER WAY WITH “signing cops” (this includes CODAS). Also do not communicate with cops once the interpreter arrives. You NEED an attorney whether you are innocent, guilty, or anything in between.
For survivors/victims: You too should beware. Signed stories get really easily confused by “signing” cops (remember, adrenaline is often way up for all involved) and you could quickly be in the hot seat for something that was misunderstood by a “signing” cop. You would have no witness to prove that you did not sign/say/gesture what the cop says you signed/said/gestured. Judges and juries take cop’s word over victim’s any day–and cops never admit when they are wrong. Demand a qualified interpreter. This is your right & the government pays for this.
SG Mission: to serve our viewers by providing reliable, valuable, and important Deaf community oriented information in every newcast.