When You Ask The NYPD For Help In Spanish, Don't Expect Them To Save Your Life

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: A New York Police Department (NYPD) car sits parked in Times Square on August 12, 2013 in New York
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: A New York Police Department (NYPD) car sits parked in Times Square on August 12, 2013 in New York City. The controversial policy employed by the NYPD in high crime neighborhoods known as stop and frisk has been given a severe rebuke by a federal judge on Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin has appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to the NYPD's stop and frisk tactic's after finding that it intentionally discriminates based on race. Both New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The New York Police Department failed to translate a domestic abuse report given in Spanish by a woman who was later stabbed to death, according to news reports.

The NYPD's failure to translate the report has raised concerns from those who say it might have prompted police to act before Garcia and her two daughters were killed.

Deisy Garcia told police in May that she feared her ex-husband would kill her and their two daughters, Daniela and Yoselin, according to CNN. On Nov. 27, police responded to a domestic dispute at Garcia’s home, and she followed up with the precinct the next day. Garcia, who was born in Guatemala, gave the report in her native language of Spanish.

But police never translated or reviewed the reports.

"No one translated it and they just put it away or placed it into the system,” Roger Asmar, an attorney for the Garcia family, told CNN. “Three complaints were filed by Deisy, and none of the times she filed a complaint did police actually arrest Mr. Mejia, her ex-husband."

Garcia’s ex-husband, Miguel Mejia-Ramos, confessed to killing Garcia and their one and two-year-old daughters.

Mejia-Ramos was jailed without bail and placed on suicide watch after his arraignment in Queens last month. He faces first-degree murder charges.

Garcia’s case is not an isolated one. A group of six Hispanic women and the Violence Intervention Program filed a lawsuit against New York City last year accusing NYPD of discrimination for failing to provide translation when investigating domestic disputes, the New York Post reports.

“Unfortunately, we’re not surprised that something like this happened, because we know that victims of domestic violence, when they’re not able to speak English, are not able to get the protection that they need,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer Edward Josephson said this week, according to the New York Post.



Hispanic Populations In The U.S.