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US: Deaf-mute driver shot dead by policeman

'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, a neighbour said. (Representative image) Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Florida, United States Aug 23, 2016, 07.23 AM (IST)
Southern US state of North Carolina authorities said on Monday they are investigating the death of a deaf and mute man who was shot dead by a trooper who tried to pull him over for speeding.

Local television channel WSOC reported, Daniel Harris, 29, led trooper Jermaine Saunders on an eight-mile chase to his home in Charlotte. He used sign language to communicate.

The North Carolina state highway patrol spokesman, sergeant Michael Baker said, the driver exited his vehicle in the neighbourhood and an ''encounter took place'' which led to a shot being fired.

He died on the spot, Baker said. 

The State Bureau of Investigation told WSOC that no weapons were recovered from Harris. 

Investigators will be reviewing the dashboard and body camera videos while Saunders has been placed under administrative leave.

"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, a neighbour said.

Harris's family launched an online fundraiser, YouCaring.com' to raise money for his funeral. The 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 website stated.

His family hopes to change drivers' registration systems so the police will know a person is deaf when they look up a car's license plate.

"With this change, Daniel will be a hero in our deaf community," the family said. They had raised more than $10,000 by late Monday.

(With inputs from AFP)







 
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