Deaf driver shot dead by police
Deaf driver shot dead by police

Authorities in the southern US state of North Carolina said on Monday they are investigating the death of a deaf man who was fatally shot after a trooper tried to pull him over for speeding.

Daniel Harris, 29, was shot after being pulled over following a brief car chase just outside in the city of Charlotte on 18 August.

Police said they attempted to pull Harris for allegedly speeding on the Interstate 485.

One witness reported Mr Harris was then shot and killed "almost immediately" after exiting his vehicle".

After getting out of his vehicle, there was a "brief encounter" between Harris and state trooper Jermaine Saunders which resulted in Harris being shot and killed instantly.

The witness said it appeared the victim had attempted to communicate with an officer via sign language when he was fired on outside of his home.

Saunders has been placed on administrative leave while investigators review evidence, including dashboard and body camera videos.

A neighbor called the shooting "totally unacceptable."

"He didn't even hear the siren, he didn't hear anything... You're pulling someone over who is deaf, they are handicapped," Mark Barringer said.

Harris's family has launched an online fundraiser to pay for funeral expenses.

Leftover money "will be used to set up a foundation in his name to educate and provide law enforcement proper training on how to confront Deaf people," the family's fundraising page said.

 Mr Harris's family - a number of who are also hearing impaired - said they wanted to raise awareness of how police should confront deaf people.

The post on online fundraiser website adds that states should change their systems so that a police stop triggers an alert showing that the person is deaf.

"With this change, Daniel will be a hero in our Deaf community", the post read.

More than $10,000 had been raised by late Monday.


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