Unarmed therapist shot by police while trying to calm autistic man
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – Video released Wednesday shows the moment before North Miami police shot an unarmed, behavioral therapist as he tried to calm an autistic patient, according to WSVN.
Still recovering in a hospital bed, Charles Kinsey is now talking about what happened in that cellphone video recorded Monday.
“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” he said. “And I am laying there just like this, telling them again there is no need for firearms.”
Police were responding to a 911 call about a disturbed man walking around with a gun, threatening suicide. Kinsey said that man was one of his patients, Rinaldo, who has autism. The reported gun, he said, was actually a toy truck.
The video shows Kinsey, with both hands held up in the air, telling officers “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Kinsey was simultaneously trying to calm Rinaldo and explain what was happening to the police, he says, when an officer shot him.
“I thought it was a mosquito bite, and when it hit me I had my hands in the air, and I’m thinking, ‘I just got shot!’ Kinsey recalled. “I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.'”
Kinsey said the officers then handcuffed him and flipped him over as he bled onto the concrete. Kinsey told WSVN that being cuffed after being shot upsets him the most. He says he still experiences flashbacks when he closes his eyes.
Both Kinsey and his wife told reporters they are just happy he survived and is able to tell his story.
The North Miami Police Department issued a statement asking for witnesses, photos and videos of the officer-involved shooting, and called the investigation open and ongoing. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is also investigating.
The officer who shot Kinsey has been placed on administrative leave.