Outrage Over Deaf Driver Shot by Police
One of the biggest stories this year has been police brutality and use of excessive force. According to nydailynews.com, police have killed 752 Americans this year. The killing of an unarmed deaf man in North Carolina last week has done nothing to help this situation.
On last Thursday, Daniel Harris, a deaf, 20-year-old man from Charlotte, North Carolina, was shot to death by police after a vehicle chase. While it is not against the law to drive if a person is deaf, Harris was reportedly speeding. Police signaled for Harris to pull over, but he instead led police on a 7-mile chase after which, according to cnn.com, Harris exited the vehicle and “an encounter took place between the driver and the trooper.” The officer has since been placed on administrative leave.
According to nydailynews.com, the shooting took place near the victim’s home, and neighbors reported seeing Harris “trying to communicate with the officer via sign language.”
Many people, such as the victim’s brother Sam, who is also deaf, have since wondered whether if the officer had been trained in sign language this death could have been prevented. “The police need to become aware of how to communicate with deaf people, what that might look like and how to avoid situations like this from ever happening again," Harris told a crowd of mourners on Tuesday, according to CNN.com.
Others have wondered since, according to nydailynews.com, Harris was, in addition to being unarmed and deaf, “a rather small, thin man,” what real danger he could have caused to the officer who shot him.
Research for this article was taken from cnn.com and nydailynews.com