Since 2007, at least 20 Dallas police officers have wrongly cited motorists for not speaking English, says the Dallas Morning News. The number of officers tied to the tickets is greater than police initially estimated. It is likely to grow because Dallas police officials say they plan to look back several more years and include the supervisors who signed off on the tickets in an investigation for possible dereliction of duty.
Almost all of the 38 people cited for the offense – which is not a crime in Dallas – were Hispanic. None of the officers who wrote the tickets was Hispanic. The erroneous tickets came to light last week when a woman told the news media she was cited for being a “non-English-speaking driver,” during an Oct. 2 traffic stop. Police Chief David Kunkle has apologized for the arrests, promised an investigation and said that pending charges would be dropped and that those who paid fines would be reimbursed.