The tragic death of a mother and her two daughters at the hands of her jealous husband could have been avoided if her police statements about two previous attacks had been translated into English.
Deisy Garcia of Queens, New York, had called police to her home in May 2013 after her husband attacked her, and wrote a statement in Spanish. Her statement said that she was afraid her husband, Miguel Ramos, would murder her and their daughters, Danielle, 2 and Yoselyn, 1.
The police services did not translate her statement, or a second statement that she gave in November 2013 after another attack. Because of this, her concern that her husband would murder her and her little girls was never properly acted upon.
Senator Brad Hoylman, who is sponsoring the new law, said that “the system failed Mrs. Garcia and her two young daughters.” Under the new law, due to be signed shortly by New York Governor Mario Cuomo, NY state police must promptly translate the crime reports of victims who don’t speak English. “Her memory and the tragic circumstances of her daughters’ deaths were really the inspiration,” for the legislation, said Senator Hoylman.
Unfortunately the new legislation on translating statements comes too late for Deisy Garcia and her family. In January 2014, all 3 were found stabbed to death in their bedrooms.
After the murders the NYPD ordered that domestic violence officers must immediately translate all victims’ written statements into English. The new law ensures that translation is now a legal requirement. Hopefully this will reduce the chances of such a crime happening again.