LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The NAACP of Las Vegas shared their thoughts after a Black deaf woman was detained by police in North Las Vegas.
Video of the detainment has now been viewed millions of times on FOX5’s website and social media platforms. The video the woman recorded on her cell phone has sparked outrage nationwide.
After the George Floyd verdict this week, the NAACP Las Vegas chapter said they would be “diligently watching, working and holding local police officers accountable and to a higher standard” and are now turning their attention to this incident.
“We were just shocked when we initially saw it… It was everything that we hoped that we would never see again in Las Vegas,” shared Sherrie Roister, Legal Redress Committee Chair of NAACP Las Vegas after reviewing the video recorded by Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth who was pulled over by North Las Vegas Police earlier this month.
Hollingsworth is deaf and said through an interpreter she could not communicate with the officers.
“I’m saying look at this, we need to text we need to write, and he just kept on talking,” Hollingsworth contended. Hollingsworth said she was pulled from her car and her 11-year-old twins were also told to get out so they could try to interpret for her. When Hollingsworth was put in handcuffs, she said she had no way to communicate and was terrified.
“I am black, I am deaf, George Floyd just happened... My kids are afraid because of all the incidents that have been happening recently. They are raised Black in this community so when they see police officer, they are also on high alert,” Hollingsworth shared.
Roister understands Hollingsworth’s trepidation from the onset of the police stop.
“I think that is a common feeling among Black individuals in America and throughout Las Vegas,” Roister stated.
Roister worries about the lasting impact of that night on the 11-year-old girls.
“Imagine what their thought going forward is going to be in terms of police interaction or when they run into a police officer or even when they need to call an officer for help,” Roister said.
The NAACP aims to be a bridge between the community and police and according to Roister, the group has a lot of the conversations with local law enforcement agencies about training but they don’t see this incident as a training issue.
“To put it frankly what we saw was a lack of compassion,” Roister argued. Roister added, this incident is also an important reminder of the right to record.
“That is why we are getting verdicts… and that is why people are out in the streets of every color demanding justice because we see it,” Roister asserted.
To see this from the officer’s perspective, FOX5 requested the officer’s body camera footage before our initial report. Since then, we’ve continued to ask multiple times for the footage. NLVPD has acknowledged they have received our request, but offered no timeframe to complete it.
FOX5 has asked for an interview with the Chief of the North Las Vegas Police Department to ask directly about this encounter and what is being done in response. Did the officer involved face any sort of disciplinary action? Was additional training provided?
We were told:
“Unfortunately Chief Ojeda is very busy and is unable to conduct an interview.”
Hollingsworth said she has consulted with an attorney about possible legal action against the department. FOX5 will continue to follow this.