Daniel Harris Dead: Deaf, Mute Shot By Police While Doing Sign Language

Daniel Harris Dead: Deaf, Mute Shot By Police While Doing Sign Language
Police Car Police Chase Ford Crown Victoria Tomas Rocky Horror / Pixabay Public Domain

Daniel Harris is a man who was killed by a state trooper in northeast Charlotte after a traffic stop turned into a chase. According to neighbors, he is deaf.


Trooper Jermaine Saunders, as described by investigators, attempted to pull over a Volvo on 485 for speeding. But the 25-year-old man did not comply with the trooper.

According to WCCB, Daniel Harris had a hearing impairment. Similarly, his brother Sam is also devoid of hearing, including other family members. People were able to communicate with them through writing messages on the phone.

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This is why neighbors are of the opinion that Harris’ hearing impairment was the reason that might have resulted to the shooting.

“Maybe that’s the reason he got shot because I heard the cop asked him to stop and he didn’t because apparently he couldn’t hear,” according to a neighbor speaking to WCCB. “I do know you should respond to whatever the officer asks you to do, that’s what I tell my kids.”

Saunders chased the man from 485 exit into his neighborhood Seven Oaks. It was during this moment, when the 25-year-old man got out of the car. The situation escalated to an encounter, in which Trooper Saunders shot the deaf man and killed him.

According to neighbor Mark Barringer, the 25-year-old was most probably trying to communicate with the trooper using sign language before he was killed. He said that the trooper did not have to escalate the situation to such an extent. He believed the trooper should have been trained to understand that it was an entirely different situation, as they were pulling over someone who is handicapped, according to WCNC.

“To me, what happened is totally unacceptable,” Barringer said.

There’s a YouCaring page made to assist Harris’ family to prepare a memorial for their son.

According to the statement on the page, the 25-year-old was unarmed when he was shot and killed by a state trooper. The page said that the tragic death could have been prevented, and that police brutality must end now.

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