Englewood Police Dept. settles with deaf man

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
William Lawrence was arrested on a warrant and Englewood police didn’t provide him with a sign-language interpreter.

Sign Language

DENVER (AP) -- A settlement between a deaf man and the Englewood Police Department requires the department to provide sign-language interpreters to deaf people who are arrested, questioned or detained.

The agreement announced Friday resulted from a federal lawsuit filed by William Lawrence and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. The suit claims that in August 2011, Lawrence was arrested on a warrant from Jefferson County, and Englewood police didn't provide him with a sign-language interpreter during questioning. He also was handcuffed.

Kevin Williams, the coalition's legal director, tells The Denver Post (http://bit.ly/13NLzCK) Lawrence wasn't resisting police, and "to not provide him a way to communicate violates the basic principle of personal liberty."

Police, who denied wrongdoing in the settlement, communicated through notes and through Lawrence's hearing roommate. But the coalition says that was inadequate.

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