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Police shoot dead deaf and mute driver 'who was trying to communicate using sign language'

Mirror logo Mirror 23/08/2016 Christopher Bucktin
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An investigation has been launched after a police officer shot dead a deaf and mute driver who witnesses say was trying to communicate using sign language.

Daniel Kevin Harris was pulled over for speeding on Thursday after cops said he led them on a brief pursuit in Charlotte, North Carolina.

© Mirror As the 29-year-old stopped close to his home a state trooper pulled his gun as Harris got out of his car.

Police say there was a "brief encounter" between the two men before the gun was fired but witnesses claim the father-of-one, who was unarmed, was shot almost instantly.

© Mirror He died at the scene.

Mr Harris’s neighbours are furious over his death.

“You’re pulling someone over who is deaf, they are handicapped. To me, what happened is totally unacceptable,” Mark Barringer said.

“They should have de-escalated and been trained to realise that this is an entirely different situation.”

© Provided by Mirror A report by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police stated Mr Harris as being hearing and speech impaired but did not give further details about his impairments.

The state trooper was identified as Jermaine Saunders, who has now been placed on administrative leave.

Mr Harris’ family have set up a fundraising page since his death for his memorial and cremation costs.

In a post on the page, they say: ‘He was unarmed when shot and killed by a state trooper.

“His tragic death could have been prevented. Police brutality ends NOW.”

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