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Lack of Translator Leaves Innocent Korean Man Stuck in Jail

AsianWeek , Posted: Dec 28, 2008

WASHINGTON The Metropolitan Police Department said it violated D.C. law when it allowed a Korean man to mistakenly spend four and a half days in jail because of a language barrier, reports AsianWeek. Jong Lee, who lives in Fairfax County, was arrested from his home at 3 a.m. in January and taken to the county jail and then D.C. jail. He spent 100 hours behind bars in cuffs and shackles. Lee doesnt speak English and couldnt explain to police that he was innocent. Under the citys Language Access Law, the most comprehensive in the nation, Lee should have been provided with a translator. Lee brought the suit and won the first-ever language-access ruling from the D.C. Human Rights Commission against a law enforcement agency.

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