A sign language interpreter at a local news conference in Tampa, Florida communicated in completely indecipherable sentences. The briefing, set up to discuss the recent arrest of Howell Donaldson on Wednesday night, became the subject of criticism after members of the area's deaf community said they could not understand the translation at all. Now, police say they are not even sure how the interpreter got there in the first place.
"Fifty-one hours ago, zero 12 22 (indecipherable) murder three minutes in 14 weeks ago in old (indecipherable) murder four five 55,000 plea 10 arrest murder bush (indecipherable) three age 24," signed Derlyn Roberts at the conference, according to NBC Miami.
"She sat up there and waved her arms like she was singing Jingle Bells," said local sign language instructor Rachell Settambrino. "I was disappointed, confused, upset and really want to know why the city of Tampa's chief of police, who is responsible for my safety ... did not check her out."
A review is currently being undertaken on the matter, although it begins in confusion: a sign language interpreter hadn't even been requested for the conference.
This is the second high-profile incident of an incompetent sign language interpreter making it to a news conference: the first occurred leading up to Hurricane Irma, when an interpreter non-sensically signed the words "pizza," ''monster" and "bear," along with other completely made-up signals.
Official sign language interpreters in Florida (unlike in some other states) do not go through a certification process or and do not need to be approved by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
[Photo: Screenshot via NBC Miami]