In Miami, Florida, Charles Kinsey was just trying to help his autistic patient when he was shot by police. The behavior therapist was flat on his back with his arms in the air when he tried to warn police of his patient who ran away from a group home.
Via Miami Herald:
When a 23-year-old autistic man carrying a toy truck wandered from a mental health center out into the street Monday, a worker there named Charles Kinsey went to retrieve him.
A few minutes later the autistic man was still sitting cross-legged blocking the roadway while playing with the small, rectangular white toy. And Kinsey was prone on the ground next to him — a bullet from an assault rifle fired by a police officer having struck his leg.
“He throws his hands up in the air and says, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ They say lie on the ground, so he does,” Kinsey’s attorney Hilton Napoleon said Wednesday. “He’s on his back with his hands in the air trying to convince the other guy to lie down. It doesn’t make any sense.”
In an interview with WSVN-Channel 7, Kinsey said that after he was shot, officers approached and flipped him over and handcuffed him.
“Sir, there’s no need for firearms,” Kinsey told the news station he said to police before he was shot. “It was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite.”
Kinsey said when he asked the officer why he fired his weapon, the cop responded, “I don’t know.”
By Wednesday, North Miami police hadn’t offered much of an explanation. Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas said the investigation has been turned over to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Cuevas said officers received a 911 call indicating a man was in the street with a gun threatening to kill himself. They responded to Northeast 127th Street and about 14th Avenue and began barking orders. When the autistic man didn’t comply, an officer fired three times, striking Kinsey once in the leg. He was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Kinsey is blessed to be alive to tell his story.