A Pawtucket resident (who is Cape Verdean) was caught in a crossfire shooting on the border line between Pawtucket and Center Falls. The shooting happened at the parking lot of a meat market on Lonsdale Street across from a local Burger King. The victim did not at first even realize he was shot. When he did, he drove himself to the hospital. Because of the language barrier, however, there was much confusion in getting the proper attention and help that the victim needed.
Neither police departments in Pawtucket nor Central Falls were taking responsibility for it when I spoke to Khrystyne Bento. It was surprising to me (a Boston resident) that a proper interpreter could not be found between the Police (the victim spoke to the Police of some department) and the Hospital.
“They don’t care to have one, and the ones they do have are idiots,” said Khrystyne Bento, a community activist. “The different dialects don’t help either.” Bento talked about the many times that she had to intervene in court to prevent someone from going to jail for many years, just because of an interpretation gone wrong.
“The CV interpreters are too proud to admit that they don’t understand everything.”
She went on to say that, “Our islands are divided, they sabotage each other even in the courts.”
Khrystyne Bento, Community Activist
With Cape Verdeans being the majority minority in Pawtucket, they have a lot of potential political power. It’s a shame that something as simple as having qualified interpreters in the court systems and the hospitals is a complicated and difficult problem to overcome.