It seems like every day we hear about another questionable police shooting. The majority of these shootings have factors that result in a debate over whether or not the officer’s decision to shoot was justified. However, this is not one of those instances.
Miami police shot an older black man after responding to a call of a man walking around with a gun threatening to commit suicide. Officers responded in full force to find the suspect, 23-year-old Rinaldo, who was armed with a toy truck and is autistic.
The man that Miami police shot was 47-year-old Charles Kinsey, an African-American behavioral therapist. Kinsey was attempting to help Rinaldo, who is his patient. Rinaldo escaped from a nearby mental health center where Kinsey works.
How could the police have known that they were dealing with a therapist and an autistic man? Kinsey made it quite clear that Rinaldo was autistic, and only armed with a toy truck. Kinsey did this as he laid on his back in the street with his hands up.
From his hospital bed, Kinsey told WSVN what had happened in the moments leading up to Miami police shooting him in the leg. Kinsey explains that he went to the ground and told the officers there was no need for weapons, as Rinaldo only had a toy truck. “Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand.”
A video of Kinsey on the ground was released Wednesday afternoon. While the video did not capture the moment of the shooting, it does show that Kinsey was totally compliant.
Kinsey can be heard on the video saying, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.” Kinsey is also heard pleading to his autistic patient to get on his stomach. Kinsey said in an interview that his main concern the entire time was that the police were going to shoot Rinaldo.
“Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach.”
Kinsey remained on the ground with his hands in the air for several minutes before one of the officers shot him in the leg. Police then rushed the wounded therapist and placed him in handcuffs. Once Kinsey was cuffed, they rolled him over and patted him down.
It would be roughly twenty minutes that Kinsey would lay in the street handcuffed and bleeding before EMS arrived. Kinsey claimed when he asked the officer why he shot him the officer responded, “I don’t know.”
Wednesday evening, the Circle of Brotherhood gathered outside the North Miami Police Department in search of answers about the shooting. The group also wanted to know what was going to be done with the officer responsible for the shooting.
The shooting is said to be under investigation, and the officer responsible has been placed on administrative leave. There were no weapons found at the scene of the shooting. Miami police have not released the identity of the officer at this time.