2009 Archives

Dallas police ticketed 39 drivers in 3 years for not speaking English


The following is from the October 26, 2009, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU Law Professor George A. Martinez provided expertise for this story.

October 28, 2009

The Dallas Morning News

Dallas police wrongly ticketed at least 39 drivers for not speaking English over the last three years, Police Chief David Kunkle announced Friday while promising to investigate all officers involved in the cases for dereliction of duty.

 Pending cases will be dismissed, and those who paid the $204 fine for the charge, which does not exist in the city, will be reimbursed, Kunkle said. . .

The citations amount to a small percentage of the roughly 400,000 tickets issued by Dallas police each year. But the total is large enough to have possible legal ramifications, said George A. Martinez, a professor at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

"It sounds like a policy," Martinez said. "Discrimination on the basis of language ability, and that's targeting Latinos, and so that sounds pretty serious to me."

Read the full story.

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