Saturday, February 3

A Victim Speaking Spanish Makes An Investigation Complicated?

Someone was shot in the Sans Souci area of Jacksonville. I don't know if that's normal or not. What surprised me about the story was that the news said the police investigation was complicated because the victim did not speak English. It was called a challenge hurting the investigation, as well the police saying the investigation is "difficult because the victim does not speak English."


The reporter on the scene then said the case was "very difficult" for the police, stating that, "Many people in the apartment complex speak fluent Spanish." What? First off, people are fluent in foreign languages. These people, I presume, speak native Spanish. However, I am sure JSO has fluent interpreters to help out. In fact, I learned from the same reporter that police were able to use an interpreter to interview the victim.

Jacksonville has 46,000 people who live in homes where Spanish is the primary language. I am sure some of these people speak English, too. I can even go to a map online to see that around 10% of the people in Sans Souci speak primarily Spanish, but it's not the top community in the area by percent. You also have to assume that there are plenty of people, and maybe even cops, who speak at least some Spanish. Is the news channel implying there's never crime in the Spanish-speaking areas of town? Or that JSO just makes assumptions and never interviews people who speak Spanish unless they get shot? I really don't know what the story is here. If the victim spoke Cambodian, and there were only 1,000 other Jax residents who could interpret, I'd understand the angle of the story, but not Spanish. Not today.

I don't think there's any kind of agenda here, like implying people who speak Spanish make life more difficult for the rest of us. I think it's just more bad local news reporting that's trying to sensationalize a shooting in some new way. I could be wrong. Perhaps the goal was to marginalize the Spanish-speaking community of Jacksonville and all their fluent speakers with the message that if you want help from police, you better learn how to speak English. Or it was a critique of JSO, showing the agency's lack of preparedness. I just don't know.

Check it out for yourself here.

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