Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Police Refuse Interpreter

A deaf man in Maine claims Augusta police twice refused to provide him with an interpreter after he requested one. An investigator for the Maine Human Rights Commission has sided with Wayne Draper in his case against Augusta. The Commission next meets two weeks from today. This could be grounds for a lawsuit against the city which claims there was no harm done because Draper was able to communicate in other ways to officers.

Police stopped Draper in 2007 for taking someone's vacant hunting stand. He showed the investigating officer card that said he wanted an interpreter but Draper claims the officer refused and wrote a note to him. Draper was never charged with a crime and the tree stand owner physically threatened him. Police again refused his request for an interpreter, eventually providing one for him at the police station later after Draper was insistent.