Society

Trooper Kills An Unarmed Deaf Mute Man

| by Nicholas Roberts
Daniel HarrisDaniel Harris

A state trooper in North Carolina shot dead a man with speech and hearing impediments following a car chase on Aug. 18.

The incident happened after 29-year-old Daniel Harris led troopers on a 7-mile chase, according to WBTV. Harris then got out of his car, which was followed by an encounter with State Trooper Jermaine Saunders which turned fatal. Harris was shot and died at the scene.

Authorities have not yet released a detailed account of what happened during the encounter, according to CNN. It is also currently unknown whether Saunders knew that Harris was deaf.

Sam Harris, Daniel's brother, says he wonders whether or not the shooting occurred because of a misunderstanding caused by his brother's disabilities. No officials have given credence to the idea, but the Harris family continues to press for more information about why the man was shot.

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"The police need to become aware of how to communicate with deaf people, what that might look like and how to avoid situations like this from ever happening again," said Sam, who is also deaf.

A neighbor of the Harris family, Ryan Russell, said he is asking others in the neighborhood to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers.

"I'm already trying working on trying to get people to reach out to this family, because no matter this guy did, the family is hurting because they lost one of their loved ones."

Saunders was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. Law enforcement is currently reviewing dashcam and body camera evidence from the highway patrol as well as from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which dispatched officers to the scene after the shooting.

"Because at least 20 highway patrol officers responded, it is taking some time to get all videos related to [the] incident together," said North Carolina Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Audria Bridges

Sources: CNN, WBTV / Photo credit: YouCaring.com via Abc.net.au

Was there a misunderstanding between Harris and Saunders?
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