A deaf young man by the names of Daniel Kevin Harris aged 29 faced death at the hands of a Charlotte state trooper identified as Jermaine Saunders. The tragic incident happened last Thursday in North Carolina.
It is reported by the authorities that Harris was pulled over due to over speeding, unfortunately, because he was deaf he couldn’t understand what the officer was saying to him. This forced the state officer to shoot at Daniel, hence his death.
The police report that this fatal shooting occurred after their colleague Saunders had pulled over Daniel’s car. He, however, jumped out of his car and started moving towards the officer.
On the other hand, WCNC, a local news reporter in Charlotte North Carolina reports witnesses said and were sure that the victim wasn’t shot after a while but he was shot as soon as he moved out of his vehicle. They also insist that the father of one, Daniel Kevin Harris endeavored to communicate to officer Saunders using sign language which was his only means of communication, but in vain. The poor soul ended up innocently losing his life just like on the spot.
In Saunders’ defense, He says the reason as to why he fired his gun that killed the victim was because he saw him moving towards him even after clearly giving clear commands which he failed to adhere to.
The aggrieved family members of Daniel who also happen to be the hearing-impaired state that there’s no way the victim would have understood what was happening to him, what the officer was saying.
They also claim that he must have been afraid.
His family and neighbors spoke to the reporters about their loved one. His brother Jay said that Daniel was clearly unarmed, he was deaf and was just afraid given the situation he was in.
He further explains that the victim could in no way hear what the officer was saying to him because he was deaf.
Jay told a reporter of WCNC that the victim’s mother was admitted to hospital due to a heart attack that she suffered on hearing about her son’s tragic death .He said that “He was short, and now we’re left with nothing. ”
One of the victim’s neighbors expressed his disgust at the unfortunate circumstances under which his friend lost his dear life. He wondered why the officer would pull over a deaf and handicapped person. He believed that whatever happened was totally deplorable, stating that the police should have been trained to know what to do in a situation like this, they should be taught how to differentiate the handicapped from normal people and how to handle them.
Apparently, Officer Jermaine Saunders is not to get off scot- free. He has been put on administrative leave after this unfortunate incident. He will be further investigated by the State Bureau of an investigation. Harris has been reported as a hearing-impaired white man by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
His family has been looking for money left and right to cater for his funeral expenditure, and on a good note, they have managed to raise over $13,000 through a fundraising page. This fundraising page read that Harris was unarmed when he was shot and killed by a state trooper, his tragic death could have been avoided, police brutality must stop right now.
His relatives, in a bid to stop such incidents from happening ever again, have formed a foundation that will help educate and provide the police with the right training on how to handle hearing-impaired individuals.This foundation also intends to come up with an alert which would appear when a license plate is put through the system, as a way of helping the police to be able to recognize hearing-impaired drivers.
This will definitely reduce the number of handicapped lives lost in such situations.
Daniel Kevin Harris,a father of one lost his life at a young age. His family and friends believe the situation in which he died could have been avoided by all means. They continue to mourn their beloved son,brother, and friend. With the foundation that they have put up, they hope and believe that Daniel’s demise will bring about a tremendous change through this foundation and that his legacy and life will live on. Rest in peace Daniel!