Justice for Unarmed Deaf Man Gunned Down By Police

Target: North Carolina State Highway Patrol Head Colonel William J. Grey

Goal: Fire the cop who shot and killed a deaf, mute man who was trying to communicate with sign language.

A deaf and mute man was shot down by police in front of his house in another alleged case of unnecessary force. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol claims that the deaf man, Daniel Kevin Harris, failed the pull over when signaled by trooper Jermaine Saunders. At some point the vehicles became damaged and stopped in front of the deaf man’s home.

The police report states that there was then an “encounter” between Harris and Saunders before the trooper fired his weapon, and somehow during that period Harris had tried to communicate using sign language. However, witnesses say that Saunders fired his gun immediately after exiting his police car. Unfortunately, the local police department has not yet equipped its police officers with dashboard or body cameras.

Harris died just a few feet from his front door, shocking the neighborhood. In addition to people of color, people with disabilities have been shown to be disproportionately targeted by police brutality. There have been multiple incidents of deaf people in particular being attacked, shot, and killed by police for failing to heed instructions they couldn’t hear. Sign our petition to demand this officer be fired for shooting an unarmed deaf man.


Dear Colonel Grey,

One of your State Highway Patrol Troopers, Jermaine Saunders, was involved in a controversial shooting incident that resulted in the death of Daniel Kevin Harris. This young man was deaf and mute and had reportedly attempted to communicate with the trooper in sign language before he was killed. This is according to your departments report–witnesses say that Saunders shot Harris immediately after exiting his police car.

It’s difficult to believe police reports in a culture where so many people have been killed by police who have then lied to cover their tracks. Police brutality against marginalized communities, including the deaf community, has become a massive problem, and little has been done to stop it. The only way to improve things is to hold officers and troopers accountable when they go too far.

Harris was unarmed before he died. Even if this young man did wrong by failing to pull over, he did not deserve to die, and there is no reason he couldn’t have been apprehended using non-lethal means even if he had become combative. Please ensure that Trooper Saunders is removed from his position permanently before more people die.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes

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  1. Is anyone really surprised that this happened in a redneck state.? Talk about ignorant people, if their not racist their just plain stupid! I don’t feel sorry for these cops that have shit for brains, when people start targeting them for a change. You reap what you sow.

  2. This cop deserves life in jail!!A deaf and dumb man trying to communicate as best as he could gunned down????? These aren’t police, they are murderers and should be punished!!

  3. Deaf people are not dumb. They may be mute, but not dumb. Most deaf people are not able to communicate vocally and rely on sign language. This inability to “talk” prevents then from communicating what the officers want to know. It is wrong to shoot first and later learn of his hearing impairment. Policies around this country need to change.

  4. What stupid comments by obviously uninformed people! This man fled in a chase that went over eight and a half miles, heavily damaged his car and the trooper’s car, and when he got out he went after the trooper. Why don’t y’all wait a bit before getting all out of whack about an unconfirmed story by a hit artist who doesn’t even write for a respected news source!

  5. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    Watching the two news recordings, Daniel was speeding, when the trooper put the siren on to alert him to pull over.
    Naturally Daniel didn’t hear it and continued to drive for 16 km, infuriating the trooper, and as they turned into the street where Daniel lived; (the both cars ‘sustained damage’ cutting over the edge of an island with a sign post).
    Daniel got out of his car and he did approach the trooper but, within the time frame of 15 seconds… the trooper shot Daniel in the stomach and he died.
    The neighbours and his wife and 4 yr old boy were home, just 2 houses along that road where his body lay for well over an hour whilst police ‘assessed the situation’.
    Many of the neighbours felt this action by the trooper could and should have been handled better.
    The trooper had no idea that Daniel was deaf.
    Daniels family are hoping this tragedy will have laws or something put in place for officers so they will be able to identify deaf or hearing impaired drivers, and will be trained to better handle any future situations.
    Lets hope this happens fast, so no one else is killed, by misreading a situation.

    • Rosslyn…he was frigging deaf, not BLIND. And he did not respond to the blue lights, which I can testify for you are brighter than Hades. He sped away and went for eight and a half miles, not pulling over, speeding away. What is with you people that you hate cops? And yes, it is quite normal for a body to not be moved while the investigation is going on…it happens to every person killed in a wreck so why would you rant about it happening to a person who has tried to evade and escape??

  6. You know what?? The police brutality has gotten totally out of hand. They are not doing what police officers were meant to do. I realize there are criminals out there, but the “officers” are shooting first & asking questions later, just the reverse of what they are supposed to be doing. I also realize that there are times, i.e. if someone is pointing a gun or shooting at an officer, then the officer must retaliate to save himself or herself. There have been so many innocent people & animals shot & killed by police officers until it makes me sick. What kind of impression do they think this is leaving on youngsters?? It’s no wonder there are so many people out there brandishing firearms. Train these police officers to do what they are supposed to do, and that is to protect, not kill. As it is now, they are a gang of dangerous gunslingers who would just as soon kill as not. GIVE THESE SO-CALLED OFFICERS OF THE LAW BETTER TRAINING IN HOW TO TREAT LIVING BEINGS!!! IT’S WAY PAST TIME.

  7. Trooper Saunders should be jailed and put to death for the deliberate murder of Daniel Kevin Harris.
    If it was a white person he would be put to death.

  8. Neil Patel says:

    the idiots saying he was willfully ignoring the trooper and led saunders on a chase are idiots because they don’t acknowledge that even if it was a chase, harris simply exited the vehicle and didn’t charge at saunders or point anything at him making this a case of excessive force. saunders shot harris simply because he is scared and unfit to be a trooper.

    then again, these idiots are shills that apologize for police brutality because f everyone who doesn’t lick boots….

    • Neil, you are the idiot here sir…you haven’t admitted knowing anything at all about this case, just run your mouth about it and slander those of us who actually do know something about it. The trooper chased this dude for over eight miles with speeds reaching over a hundred miles per hour! The driver DID go after the trooper according to eyewitnesses! I’d suggest that you get your news from factual accounts rather than anti-police liberals!

  9. Ameriacn oinker pig cops are the trash of the planet.They are corrupt,lazy,uneducated,animal murdering filth!

  10. Surely if someone is deaf to that extent they should not be issued with a driver’s licence – and if a policeman is that quick to open fire on an unarmed individual who simply happens to approach him, he should not be permitted to wear a uniform, which apparently licences him to do just that? It is all very surreal.

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