The NYPD is testing a pilot program on Staten Island that is intended to enhance communication with people who are deaf.
The program was instituted in the wake of lawsuits by deaf people, including a former Staten Island woman, Diana Williams. Police in the 121st Precinct based in Graniteville and also in precincts in Manhattan and Queens will use tablets to connect via video with sign-language interpreters if live interpreters are unavailable, according to the Daily News.
Williams, who previously lived in Grasmere, has settled a lawsuit for $750,000 against the city in which she alleged cops falsely arrested her, demeaned her and refused her requests for a sign-language interpreter, according to court papers. Williams sued the city in Manhattan federal court over her Sept. 11, 2011, arrest at a residential building she and her husband owned on Hillbrook Drive, her civil complaint said.
Williams alleged a tenant, whom she had evicted for non-payment of rent, falsely had her arrested in retaliation, said her civil complaint.