Growing national scrutiny of an North Carolina state trooper’s killing of a deaf Charlotte motorist has prompted the State Department of Public Safety to issue a statement asking the public not to rush to judgment, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. The State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting of motorist Daniel Harris, 29, but the agency has not said whether Harris was armed or threatened the trooper in some way.
In the meantime, media speculation had grown that it could be another case of law enforcement overreacting, with suggestions that the shooting is not unlike recent high profile cases of African Americans being killed by police. The State Bureau of Investigation has said little about what led Harris to be shot by trooper Jermaine Saunders during a traffic stop Thursday. When Saunders tried to pull Harris over for speeding, he fled and led the trooper on a seven-mile chase. Troopers said he got out of the vehicle, and that led to an “encounter” where a shot was fired. Harris died at the scene. The case has had international attention, including coverage in in African, Russian, Australian, and British newspapers and websites.