Sign language interpreter warns public of 'bears' and 'pizza' during hurricane update

  • 19/09/2017
The interpreter was criticised for incorrect sign language.
The interpreter was criticised for incorrect sign language. Photo credit: Getty

Officials from Manatee County, Florida, are being criticised for their choice of sign language interpreter during a Hurricane Irma emergency briefing. 

Rather than using an official sign language interpreter the county instead used the services of a local lifeguard, who happens to have a deaf relative.

Members of the deaf community have said that the interpreter, Marshall Greene, mostly signed gibberish but also referenced "pizza" and "monsters" during the briefing. 

Other information conveyed was simply incomplete, experts have said.

The press conference was to inform locals of mandatory evacuations of part of the county. According to the transcribed video, instead of informing residents to evacuate, Mr Greene signed "mix a pray, water insurance".

Speaking to the Bradenton Herald Manatee County Spokesperson Nick Azzara said that they chose to use Mr Greene's services rather than have no sign language interpreting at all.