At a time when America has been plagued with a rash of violence, Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man trying to help his patient — a man with autism — was shot by a police officer, WSVN reports. Video footage released corroborates this story.
The incident occurred in North Miami, Florida. The video shows Kinsey, who luckily survived the shooting, lying on the ground with his hands raised, explaining to the police that both he and the autistic man who was in his care were unarmed.
Despite all of that, the police officer still shot Kinsey.
Kinsey recounted the shooting with WSVN, stating that not even the police officer knew why he 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 said, likening the shot to a bug bite. “And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.'”
“Arriving officers attempted to negotiate with two men on the scene, one of whom was later identified as suffering from autism,” said North Miami Police in a statement. “At some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon, striking the employee.”
Further heightening the tension on the scene was the fact that the police reportedly could not tell what the man with autism had in his hand, Gawker reports. The police said that they could see that the man with autism “had something in his hand,” but in the video, Kinsey can be heard identifying the object in his patient’s hand as a toy truck. Kinsey is a therapist who works with people who have disabilities, and says he was shot while he was trying to help a patient with autism. While in the hospital, still bandaged, Kinsey stated he was attempting to help an autistic patient who had broken away from the group home where he lives. The man with autism had nothing more lethal than the toy truck he had taken with him when he ran away.
According to local police, however, officers were dispatched to the scene where Kinsey was trying to calm his patient because they have received a 911 call about an armed man who was threatening suicide.
The cellphone video that was released Wednesday afternoon shows Kinsey, on the ground, with his hands in the air, telling the responding officers that their weapons were not necessary. You can watch the footage below.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) July 20, 2016
“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” Kinsey recalled of the incident leading up to his own shooting, “and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand.”
The video released Wednesday again corroborates Kinsey’s story. Kinsey could be heard in the video saying, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
“Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach,” Kinsey coaxes.
— A.T. O’Neal, Esq (@UhuruEsq) July 21, 2016
The entire ordeal went on for several minutes before one of the officers inexplicably shot him.
“I was really more worried about him than myself. I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking, they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong.
After shooting him three times in the leg, Kinsey says police put him in handcuffs.
North Miami Police say the officer who inexplicably shot Kinsey has been placed on administrative leave, but have not released the officer’s name or said if he will face any charges.
Kinsey is reportedly in good condition.
[Image via Miami Herald]