On Wednesday evening, cell phone footage surfaced in a WSVN Miami news report, which detailed how an unarmed man was shot despite lying on the ground with his hands in the air. The man, a therapist named Charles Kinsey, was attempting to soothe his autistic patient, who was sitting in the street while playing with a toy truck. Police arrived on the scene after a call reported that someone threatened to commit suicide.
Thankfully, Kinsey survived the incident. From a hospital bed, he expressed surprise at having been shot, especially since the officer explained the situation as “I don’t know.” The North Miami Police Department hasn’t identified the officer, but he’s been placed on administrative leave (as is customary) pending an investigation. None of this helps ease tensions after the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Kinsey’s attorney, Hilton Napoleon II, claims the city is eager to settle and “resolve it relatively fast in good faith to let the community know that they take these things seriously.” Now more details are surfacing, and things aren’t looking any better. According to the Miami Herald‘s Chuck Rabin, Miami-Dade police union president John Rivera said the officer was actually aiming to shoot the autistic patient.
Local 10 ABC in Miami published a more fleshed-out update from Rabin:
“The one officer discharged his firearm trying to strike the individual that they thought was trying to bring harm onto Mr. Kinsey. This is not a case of police brutality. This is not one of those cases where it’s a rogue cop. This is not a case other than an officer who was trying to save the life of Mr. Kinsey and feels horrible that his aim missed and struck Mr. Kinsey.”
The disturbing news report — including video footage and Kinsey’s account of events — can be viewed below.