Woman Issued Ticket for Not Speaking English

POSTED: Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:20pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

A Dallas, Texas woman who was ticketed for being a non-English-speaking driver is calling for an internal investigation. Ernestina Mondragon was pulled over October. 2 on a traffic stop and cited for not speaking English in addition to two other traffic violations. Mondragon and her attorney said Sunday that they are filing a complaint with the Dallas Police Department.

"I do not understand how a police officer can give a citation for an offense that doesn't exist on paper," said Domingo Garcia, Mondragon's attorney. Chief David Kunkle said last week that the officer, a rookie under supervised training, misapplied a federal law when citing Mondragon. He said the department's computer system for citations includes the law, which requires drivers of commercial vehicles to speak English.

Mondragon's "no-English" ticket was later dismissed in court. The department said more than three dozen other citations for not speaking English have been issued by at least six officers. Kunkle said the officers and their commanders are under investigation.