According to CNN, a video released on Wednesday reveals a few moments before the North Miami, Florida police “accidentally” shot a behavior therapist who was attempting to calm down his autistic patient in the street.
Charles Kinsey, the behavior therapist for the autistic patient, is now talking about what happened during the police shooting while he recovers in his hospital bed.
“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up. And I am laying there just like this, telling them again there is no need for firearms.”
KTLA reports police were responding to a 911 call claiming a disturbed man was walking around the area with a gun and threatening to commit suicide. According to the behavior therapist, this man was Rinaldo, one of his autistic patients. The gun someone called in and reported was nothing more than a toy truck the man was playing with. It was just a toy truck.
In the video, viewers can see the behavior therapist holding both of his hands up in the air as he tries to explain to the officers who he is, who the man is, and that neither of them has a gun.
“All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
While this behavior therapist from Florida was trying to get the police to understand the situation, he was also trying to calm the autistic patient down at the same time. This was when police shot the therapist.
“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!’ I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?'”
According to the behavior therapist, the police officer responded to his question by saying, “I don’t know.”
CNN reports the police union representing the North Miami officer from Florida who shot the unarmed therapist claims the shooting was accidental. According to the union, the Florida police officer had intended to shoot the autistic patient because he believed he posed a danger to his surroundings. However, he accidentally shot the therapist instead.
BREAKING: Disturbing footage shows police shooting a man who was trying to aid an autistic patient.https://t.co/s6XbFWpEB8— ATTN: (@attn) July 21, 2016
The Dade County Police Benevolent Association is representing the unnamed police officer from Florida at this time. According to John Rivera, Dade County PBA President, the police officer opened fire on the two individuals because he believed the white male, who he did not learn until later was autistic, was going to hurt the behavior therapist.
“This wasn’t a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy or he thought that Kinsey was the bad guy.”
The Florida union representing the police officer claims the movement of the autistic patient looked as if he was going to discharge a gun at the behavior therapist. They are claiming the police officer discharged his weapon in order to protect the behavior therapist because he thought the autistic patient was going to shoot him. They are also saying the officer “unfortunately” missed his intended target and shot the behavior therapist instead of the autistic patient who the officer believed to be “the bad guy.”
The police union is claiming the video footage of the incident is “poorly portraying” what happened and causing the police officer from Florida to look bad when the shooting was nothing more than an accident because the officer misread the situation.
According to the therapist’s attorney, three shots were fired, and it was the second shot which wounded the therapist’s leg.
“Mr. Kinsey [the therapist] did everything right, let’s be real clear about that,” Rivera said. He claims the police officer involved in the shooting “wishes nothing but the best for Mr. Kinsey and the officer is praying for his speedy recovery as are we.”
The therapist from Florida goes on to report that he was flipped over and handcuffed after he was shot. There was a video released by his attorney which shows the therapist lying on his stomach on the ground in handcuffs. Both of the men could be seen lying flat on the ground with two police officers near them for roughly 20 minutes before an ambulance got to the scene.
The Florida police officers claim the officer opened fire only after he attempted to negotiate with the autistic patient and his behavior therapist. The therapist and his attorney claim the police explanation regarding what happened does not make sense. State authorities are currently investigating this shooting.
The Florida police officer, who remains unnamed, was put on administrative leave. He did issue a statement in the form of a text message. The union president read the text message out loud to the media on the officer’s behalf.
“I took this job to save lives and help people. I did what I had to do in a split-second to accomplish that, and hate to hear others paint me as something I’m not.”
Do you think this police officer from Florida acted in the right way when he opened fire at a behavior therapist and his autistic patient?
[Image via YouTube]