North Miami Cop Who Shot Charles Kinsey Charged With Manslaughter

By Kenrya Rankin Apr 12, 2017

In July 2016, Charles Kinsey survived being shot by North Miami Police Department officer Jonathan Aledda. The 47-year-old Black behavioral therapist was attempting to coax his autistic patient (identified as Arnaldo Soto in the warrant for Aledda’s arrest) out of the street, where he was playing with a truck. Aledda claimed that he thought Soto had a gun—despite proof that other officers informed him that it was a toy before he fired off three rounds. Bystander video shows that Kinsey had his arms in the air when he was shot.

Today (April 12), after a nine months-long investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Aledda has been indicted for the shooting. The Miami Herald reports that he was arrested today, and faces a felony count of attempted manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence.

This is the first time the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office has charged an officer for an on-duty shooting since Katherine Fernandez Rundle took over in 1993. Miami New Times reports that Fernandez Rundle has faced criticism for her failure to prosecute officers who incorrectly use force.

The warrant for Aledda’s arrest contains an account of events compiled during the investigation. One key section:

Notably, Officer Crespo also heard Mr. Kinsey yell out to him “It’s okay. It’s okay.” Officer Bernadeau heard Mr. Kinsey say that the object in Mr. Soto’s hands was a toy. Officer Bernadeau stated that he heard Mr. Kinsey before he had reached the “last point,” which is where he was positioned just before the shooting. See Exhibits 7 and 8 on page 12. At approximately 5:06 P.M., Officer Bernadeau advised over the radio “the person advised that it’s a toy—it’s the toy, uh, car…so use caution.”

Once Officer Bernadeau reached the last point he was able to determine that the object was in fact a toy. At approximately 5:07:24 P.M., Officer Bernadeau stated over the radio, “I have a visual. Does not appear to be a firearm. Have units QRX.” QRX is code for “standby.” The dispatcher repeated Officer Bernadeau’s standby command. …

According to Officer Crespo, “At that point Officer Bernadeau and I determined that we were going to go ahead and engage, which is actually getting out of our last pillars.” Officer Crespo said that beyond those “last pillars” there was “no other pole on the other side so it was just the free-for-all, once I went in, there was no more cover.” As Officer Crespo stepped out from his final position of cover a shot was fired.

Read the full warrant here.