Tensions have remained high between police and anti-brutality protesters across the country — and especially in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — after the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by officers. Last weekend saw further violent tragedy when a gunman went on a massacre and shot several police and sheriff’s deputies in the city where Sterling died.
Both Sterling and Castile’s deaths were captured on camera, and one man nearly met the same fate as captured by cell phone footage. Therapist Charles Kinsey was only doing his job — soothing an autistic boy in the middle of the street — when police reportedly responded to a call from someone who believed a man threatened to commit suicide. The man in question was actually a young autistic patient, who was playing with a toy truck. Kinsey was not armed, and he was trying to calm the boy when police approached with weapons drawn. And after he put his hands in the air, an officer shot him.
Thankfully, Kinsey was able to tell this story from a hospital bed, as he sustained bullet wounds that were not life threatening:
“I’m going to the ground, just like this with my hands up. And I’m laying down here just like this. And I’m telling him again, ‘Sir, there’s no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, this is an autistic guy. He has a toy truck in his hand … When he shot me, it was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite. And 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 them, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ And his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know.'”
State police are investigating the incident. The disturbing video — including Kinsey’s account of events — can be viewed below.