The Dallas Morning News reported this evening that Ernestina Mondragon was ticketed for making an illegal U-turn, driving without a license and driving while not speaking English — the latter being a legitimate ticketable offense in Dallas, although only applicable to commercial drivers.
Never mind that Mondragon has been a legal resident for 29 years, or that her English-speaking daughter was in the car with her and did not offer to translate. No, the headline here is about her â€?humiliationâ€?.
â€?[Attorney] Garcia and Mondragon...want an investigation into Dallas police training and supervision generally and specifically to uncover any evidence of racial profiling. "And I want the Dallas Police Review Board to monitor the investigation as an impartial third party," Garcia said. Garcia said he will file a claim asking the city to refund fines that Mondragon paid. She also incurred about $7,000 in medical expenses when she appeared to get ill after the traffic stop and her family took her to Baylor Medical Center at Garland. Her daughter said her mom was found to have stress-related symptoms and was admitted and kept overnight.â€?Woman ticketed by Dallas police for not speaking English says she felt humiliated, by Richard Abshire, The Dallas Morning News, October 26, 2009. Link added.
Police Chief David Kunkle has already folded with an apology, a promise to investigate, and the mass dismissal of all 39 similar charges from the last three years.
Significantly, the comments posted are just as critical as I (Texan born and bred) am. One industrious commentor, kk45 volunteers his services:
â€?â€¦I work for a sign shop and would love to print a sign for all Hispanics who believe that America must accept all Hispanics, no matter how they got here, and must learn to speak Spanish. Hispanics will sue till you do!â€?My favorite comment, posted by BinBama, pretty much sums it up: â€?Learn the Language. This aint the lottery lady.â€?