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A sign language interpreter is accused of being a phony after signing the words “pizza” and “monster” during a news conference to announce an emergency evacuation order during Hurricane Irma.


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Manatee County officials received criticism from the deaf community after the amateur was “caught signing gibberish” during the Sept. 8 news conference, WFLA reported.

The county said it was “in a pinch” and used a county lifeguard,  Marshall Greene, for help since he has “an understanding of sign language,” WFLA reported.

After reports that the signing made no sense, Greene’s family defended the him, saying, “He can’t expect to communicate something he doesn’t know,” according to WFLA.

The deaf community is still outraged and wants an apology from Manatee County officials. They feel “this was way too dangerous and put lives at risk,” WSVN reported.

RELATED: Police say post-Irma looters tried to steal a fallen power pole

Read more at WFLA and WSVN

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