CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Latest on a deaf man who was shot and killed by a state trooper (all times local):
Police records show a deaf man shot and killed by a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper had been charged with traffic offenses and other misdemeanors in three states.
A review by The Associated Press shows 29-year-old Daniel Kevin Harris had traffic stops in Denver, Colorado, in 2015 and 2008. The five misdemeanor charges filed in 2008 included obstructing a peace officer; all those charges were dropped.
He was arrested twice in Florida in 2010 – once for petit theft and once for speeding. A charge of resisting an officer was dropped. That year he pleaded no-contest to petit theft and guilty to speeding.
And in December of that same year, he pleaded guilty to interfering with or resisting police in Watertown, Connecticut.
Harris was shot and killed Thursday in Charlotte when a trooper tried to stop him for speeding.
In North Carolina, where a deaf driver was shot and killed by a State Highway Patrol trooper, the troopers get training on how to interact with deaf people. The troopers’ manual cautions them that such interactions can sometimes lead to tragic misunderstandings.
The Basic Law Enforcement Training manual has a section on dealing with deaf people. It provides clues on how to determine if a person is deaf, such as they appear alert but don’t respond to noise or sounds.
It advises troopers to watch a person’s hands because “deaf people have been stopped by an officer and then shot and killed because the deaf person made a quick move for a pen and pad …”
Relatives of 29-year-old Daniel Harris of Charlotte say Harris was unarmed and likely didn’t understand the commands of the trooper who tried to stop him Thursday.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol is urging caution about jumping to conclusions in the shooting death of a deaf driver by a trooper after the man didn’t stop for the officer’s blue lights.
In a statement Tuesday, Secretary Frank Perry of the state Department of Public Safety urged people to not make assumptions or draw conclusions prior to independent and internal reviews by the patrol, the State Bureau of Investigation and the district attorney. The department oversees the Highway Patrol.
Relatives of 29-year-old Daniel Harris of Charlotte said Tuesday that Harris was unarmed and likely didn’t understand the officer’s commands. Harris was killed Thursday.
Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of the National Association of the Deaf says the organization doesn’t keep statistics on violent interactions involving deaf people and law enforcement. But CEO Howard Rosenblum says there are “too many” such incidents.
The family of a deaf man who was shot and killed by a North Carolina state trooper after he didn’t stop for the officer’s blue lights says he was unarmed and likely did not understand the officer’s commands.
Daniel Harris’ family said they want to make sure the incident is investigated thoroughly.
Harris’ family is raising money for his funeral on YouCaring.com. They posted that any extra money will be used for educating police officers on how to handle people with hearing impairments and calling for a system to alert officers they are dealing with a deaf driver.
Authorities say Harris led Trooper Jermaine Saunders on a 10-mile chase to his neighborhood Thursday night after Saunders tried to pull him over for speeding on Interstate 485.