The Charles Kinsey shooting video has now led to a state investigation, with authorities in Florida looking into why a police officer in North Miami shot an unarmed black man as he was lying down in the road with his hands raised in the air.
The video of Kinsey’s shooting went viral on Wednesday, showing the man on his back in the middle of the street while a 23-year-old man sat nearby. The younger man has autism and had walked away from a group home, and Kinsey was a therapist who had went to find the man, CNN reported. Police were holding the two at gunpoint when the video started.
Video of the Charles Kinsey shooting can be seen below.
Video shows Kinsey talking to police about an object that the 23-year-old man had in his hands, which police believed could have been a weapon.
“All he has is a toy truck,” Kinsey yelled to police officers. “I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Charles Kinsey, who survived the shooting, said he was pleaded with officers not to hurt the man.
“I was more worried about him than myself,” Kinsey told CNN affiliate WSVN-TV in Miami.
“As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not gonna shoot me, that’s what I’m thinking,” Kinsey added. “Wow, was I wrong.”
But in a part not included on the video originally released, a police officer opened fire, striking Kinsey. Police had initially claimed that they shot Kinsey after an attempt to negotiate with the man, but Kinsey disagrees, CNN noted.
Late on Thursday morning, North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene told reporters that state officials had taken over the investigation.
“I realize there may be questions about what happened on Monday night. You have questions. The community has questions… I, personally, have questions. I assure you, we’ll get all the answers,” Eugene said.
The Charles Kinsey shooting video prompted outrage and comparisons to two other controversial police shootings from earlier this month. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, video showed police wrestling on the ground with Alton Sterling and later claiming that Sterling was reaching for a gun. Sterling was shot and killed, prompting several weeks of protests in Baton Rouge that included a man opening fire on police, killing three officers.
Just days after Sterling was killed, another video from Falcon Heights, Minnesota, showed the aftermath of a police officer shooting Philando Castile. The video, taken by Castile’s girlfriend, showed him bloodied and near death while the officer who fired the fatal shots shouted from outside the car window. Castile’s girlfriend pleaded with the officer, saying that Castile had done nothing wrong and was reaching for his driver’s license when the officer opened fire.
The video showing Charles Kinsey being shot has prompted the same reaction, with many condemning the officer for shooting a man who obviously was making no threat.
Kinsey himself said the police couldn’t explain why they had shot him.
“When he shot me, it was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite,” he said from his hospital bed (via the Independent). “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.’ “
The officer who shot Kinsey has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting itself is being investigated, the Independent reported.
The video of the Charles Kinsey police shooting and an interview with Kinsey himself can be seen here.
[Image via YouTube/Hilton Napoleon]