State trooper shoots dead an unarmed deaf mute father who was trying to communicate via sign language after being pulled over for a speeding violation


A North Carolina state trooper shot dead a deaf and mute man who was apparently trying to communicate using sign language after he was pulled over for a speeding violation.

Daniel Kevin Harris, 29, a father to a four-year-old boy, was killed just feet from his home in Charlotte by trooper Jermaine Saunders on Thursday evening.

Police say Saunders tried to pull Harris over for a speeding violation on Interstate 485 at around 6.15pm, but the driver led authorities on a brief pursuit before stopping.

Officials said that’s when the driver got out of his car and an encounter took place between the driver and the trooper, causing a shot to be fired. Harris died at the scene.

But witnesses said Harris – who was unarmed – was shot ‘almost immediately’ after he exited his vehicle, WCNC reports.




And why is there not rioting in the streets? Hes white.


No riot.

Maybe a wrongful death lawsuit?


Two thoughts that came to mind when I saw this story…

  1. I was not aware deaf people were allowed to drive.
  2. Another victim of the American gun culture in the U.S. of N.R.A.


How unspeakably tragic.


What??? Are you kidding? It wasn’t some NRA gun nut who killed somebody. (In fact, I can’t think of an single NRA gun nut killing anyone.)


I don’t know what I can say about these two comments without transgressing the bounds of charity. So I will limit myself to:

  1. Deaf people have always been allowed to drive in the U.S. Whatever gave you the idea that they were not allowed? Certainly not the manual that you had to study to get your own driver’s license.
  2. What possible connection is there between this tragic incident and the NRA?


The news article in the first post seems to leave out some important details, such as the six mile pursuit by two police cars with lights blazing. Plus, the driver’s car was deliberately bumped in the rear by the cops, but the driver kept on going.

The state of North Carolina issues ID cards to deaf and hearing impaired drivers so that they can identify themselves to the police if pulled over. Police are trained to recognize this card.

Why didn’t the driver remain in the car, and show his ID?


Since the driver was gesturing (sign language) the police can always claim he appeared to be reaching for a weapon.

I’ve actually worried about this kind of scenario. There have been a lot of stories where people have been shot for not obeying police orders.
I am both hard of hearing and epileptic & when I have a seizure I can’t talk and can’t understand speech. So if a cop saw a guy walking unsteadily (me during a seizure) who won’t answer questions or follow orders I don’t think it would end well.

I wouldn’t blame anyone for not recognizing a seizure, but what ignoramus doesn’t know what sign language is?




I don’t remember the drivers manual discussing deaf people…

The NRA has successfully implemented lax gun laws in the United States…which means more people have guns. Now if there were tighter gun restrictions, cops wouldn’t be so trigger happy every time they pull over someone for speeding. The cops are simply operating on the (correct) assumption that in places like North Carolina, just about anybody and everybody could be carrying a gun. You take away that fear from cops, they would be less apt to use their firearms.



I think one thing we can see here is that there is an increased danger/limitations to being a deaf driver on the public road way. He led the police on a “chase” because he could not hear the sirens to pull over. That is one danger. At the very least I think we should consider whether technology allows some sort of solutions to make driving safer for the hearing impaired. Perhaps some sort of visual alert whenever certain sounds (sirens, horns, trains) are detected could be installed.

No, I do not think we need yet another alert. There are too many as it is already. I would see it more reasonable for a deaf person to have his vehicle marked with a sign warning that he can not hear.


Given that he is deaf it’s quite possible he didn’t hear the police cars (some people that are legally deaf do have some sense of hearing, I don’t know if this is the case for this man or if he is completely deaf). In the news story it was said the FBI is looking for dash cam video. I wonder why this video cannot be immediately found ( ? ).


That would be the founding fathers who wanted “lax gun laws”. Remember it was them that encoded the right to bear arms in the constitution. It was they that put in place the right for people to have guns, not the NRA. The NRA doesn’t implement any laws, though they do lobby to keep from infringement by over zealous legislatures. You know the same legislatures that allow millions of babies to be killed each year.

Between the NRA and the NAF (National Abortions Federation) the NRA has not advocated the murder of anyone but the NAF certainly does. I’ll take the NRA over those that promote abortion any day.


Probably because newer police video equipment uploads recordings into the "cloud"and it has to be retrieved.


Perhaps, but he would also have to be blind to miss the lights for 2 police cars that followed him for 6 miles. If they also bumped his car I don’t know how he could have simply failed to miss them.

Not saying he “got what he deserved”, but rather those that paint it like it was a simply misunderstanding seem to be ignoring a number of missteps the man took leading up to the tragedy. We should pray for both the officer and the man who was shot instead of the continued villainization of police officers at every turn.


Yes, it is possible he didn’t look in any of his mirrors while cruising along. However, after getting bumped in the rear, I would think he would have taken a look to see what happened.

The news article I posted mentioned that “SBI said they are still collecting evidence from the scene, including video from the troopers in car cameras.” I am not sure if that is what you are referring to, but I don’t think it means that video couldn’t be found. It simply means that the investigation will include video camera footage. According to a different news source, there is both dash cam and body cam video available.

In some of the news coverage, an advocate for the deaf and hearing impaired suggested that police databases include information, tied to the license plate, that the registered owner may not be able to hear. I think that sounds like a good idea.


My feelings on that might differ depending on how far he drove (Something that is hard to assess without the video). I’m considering the possibility the driver waited until he was in a lower traffic area or drive until he had a better place to pull over.


Yes, I think we need more information. :frowning:

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