Cops Kill Deaf Man After He Refused To Obey Officer's Commands

A plainclothes Volusia County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a 52-year-old deaf man who was sitting in his vehicle Saturday afternoon, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

The victim's son says he was sitting in another vehicle nearby when his father, Edward P. Miller, was shot six times. He and his father were at Dryer’s Towing Service around 2:30pm when the older Miller was shot by sheriff’s office investigator Joel Hernandez.

Sheriff Ben Johnson claims Miller was "brandishing a firearm" at the time of the shooting. Miller had a concealed weapons license. His son, also named Edward, claimed his father's gun was tucked in his waistband and covered by his shirt.

Reported the News-Journal:

Hernandez heard a “verbal altercation” between “the suspect” and towing company employees. Hernandez made contact with Edward P. Miller and identified himself as a deputy, Davidson said. Hernandez noticed that Miller had a firearm, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement.

“Hernandez perceived a threat and fired his duty weapon, striking and killing the man,” Davidson said.

Davidson said he could not comment on how exactly Hernandez identified himself.

“We need to let FDLE conduct its investigation in order to ascertain all of the facts,” Davidson wrote.

FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger also declined comment, citing the investigation.

The night prior, deputies were called to the tow yard over a disturbance involving the Millers. They were there to pick up the younger Miller's car when a tow yard employee told a 911 dispatcher that both men were “hammered” and belligerent. The men had already been escorted off the property twice that night. When the employee noticed that the younger Miller was armed, she locked the property’s gate because she no longer felt safe, according to a 911 recording.

The 911 recording from the day of the shooting has not been released.

In 2013, Hernandez was given a letter of reprimand for use of excessive force. He was also involved in a fatal shooting that year but was cleared of wrongdoing.

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

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