It’s time to add another name to the list of unarmed citizens shot by police officers: Charles Kinsey. This time, the victim, a 47-year-old Black man, lived to tell what happened.
Kinsey, who identified himself as a behavioral therapist with a North Miami group home, says he was in the street Monday (July 18) attempting to coax his 23-year-old autistic patient to return to MacTown Panther Group Homes when officers appeared. The younger man, Arnaldo*, was playing with a toy truck. Bystander cellphone video released yesterday (July 20) shows Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands up, begging the officers who were pointing rifles at him and Rinaldo not to shoot.
“I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up. And I’m laying down here just like this. and I’m telling him again, sir, it’s no need for a firearm. I’m unarmed. He’s an autistic guy. He’s got a toy truck in his hand,” Kinsey said in an interview from his bed at Jackson Memorial Hospital. “When he hit me, I’m like—I still got my hands in the air. I said, you know, I just got shot. and I’m saying to him, I said, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ And his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
Local station WSVN reports that the North Miami Police Department officers were responding to a 911 call that alleged someone was walking around with a gun threatening suicide. Per the Miami Herald, one of the officers fired at Kinsey three times, hitting him once in the leg. Kinsey says he was then restrained with three sets of handcuffs and left in the street while he bled onto the asphalt. No weapons were found at the scene.
The department released a statement following the shooting:
There is preliminary information that North Miami Police Officers were dispatched to the scene after a 911 call was received of an armed male suspect threatening suicide. Arriving officers attempted to negotiate with two men on the scene, one of whom was later identified as suffering from autism. The other man was later identified as an employee of an assisted living facility. At some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon, striking the employee.
The officer’s name has not yet been released. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the Miami-Dade state attorney’s investigation into the shooting.
Watch a report on the shooting from local station WSVN below.
— D (@Delo_Taylor) July 21, 2016
*Post has been updated since publication.