Family Speaks After Trooper Kills Unarmed, Hearing Impaired Man
Charlotte, NC — Donors raised more than $2,600 for the family of the hearing impaired man killed when a state trooper shot him Thursday. Daniel Harris’ family says they will use the money to pay for his cremation.
Troopers say Harris was speeding and failed to pull over on I-485 Thursday night. When he did stop on Seven Oaks Dr., Trooper Jermaine Saunders says Harris advanced. That’s when he says he shot.
His immediate family members are also hearing impaired. His brother, Jay Harris, spoke to WCCB Charlotte through a sign language interpreter. “He was unarmed,” said Jay Harris. “And he is a deaf individual, and I think that he was just afraid.”
Jay Harris thinks his brother was unaware Trooper Saunders was trying to pull him over for speeding. Trooper Saunders says he shot Harris because he was advancing and not following commands.
“He could not hear their warnings. He could not hear their commands to stop or to stay away from them,” said Jay Harris.
Harris was a father of a four-year-old little boy. Family says his mother is in the hospital with a heart issue since the shooting.
“He was shot, and now we’re left with nothing,” said Jay Harris.
They want the state to document in the DMV system when a driver is deaf to alert officers when they pull over someone who is hearing impaired.
“What is wrong with us, and what is wrong with a system that allows this to continue to happen? It needs to stop,” said Jay Harris. “Daniel’s death represents that he is a hero in our deaf community. He will raise awareness on this issue so that we can prevent this from happening to other deaf people in our community.”