Video shows children of deaf woman interpreting for North Las Vegas police

A new video shows the children of a deaf woman used to translate for her while detained by North Las Vegas police last month.

Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth was handcuffed on April 7 after her former friend claimed Hollingsworth was stalking her in the 5400 block of Ragged Robin Court.

In the two hours of video released Thursday by the North Las Vegas Police Department, the Hollingsworth girls told police the friend owed their mother money, which she texted about the pickup that night. Officers ask the woman’s two daughters to translate at least a dozen times on behalf of the officer.

Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, said in a statement to the Review-Journal last month that family members should never be used as interpreters, especially when law enforcement has professionals available.

“Family members, including minor children, are not inherently impartial and often lack the training or vocabulary required to interpret effectively or accurately,” Rosenblum said. “Relying on children to interpret is extremely risky – not only is it automatically ineffective communication under federal law, but it is often very traumatic for the children and the parent.”

North Las Vegas Police spokesperson Alex Cuevas said the department had sign language and oral interpretation services available on call around the clock, but he did not explain why an interpreter had not been called for Hollingsworth.

In a ministry report, Constable Michael Rose wrote that Hollingsworth had made it clear that she was deaf but was “very uncooperative” and appeared to be focused on her phone. He described his use of American Sign Language as “constant hand movements” and said his car was full of personal belongings so he couldn’t tell if it had a gun.

When Hollingsworth couldn’t understand the requests to sit down, Rose is seen in a video asking her daughters to translate before pushing her to the floor, leaving the girls to scream and cry.

The woman told police several times in the video that she couldn’t hear them and couldn’t read lips. One of her daughters begs an officer to release her from the handcuffs so that she can use sign language or write on a notepad.

“How can she sign with her hands behind her?” the girl asks an officer during the video.

After more than 30 minutes of interaction with the police, the woman and her daughters are released in her car. Cuevas said no charges have been filed against Hollingsworth.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at [email protected] or 702-383-0278. To pursue @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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