Charles Kinsey is a behavioral therapist who works with low-functioning autistic and developmentally disabled adult patients at an assisted living facility in North Miami, Florida. The Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled, more commonly known as MACtown, houses 56 residents in a homelike atmosphere where they learn basic daily living skills and receive vocational training. In their mission statement, MACtown says “we must advocate, despite all odds.”
On Monday, therapist Charles Kinsey was doing just that. One of his patients, a non-verbal man named Rinaldo, wandered away from the facility with a toy truck in his hand. Kinsey followed in an attempt to bring him home. Within minutes, both Rinaldo and his therapist were on the ground, and two Miami cops were aiming their rifles at them. What happened next is almost impossible to believe.
Despite the fact that Charles Kinsey was unarmed and had his hands in the air, the unidentified officer shot at him three times. Now, the president of the North Miami Police union says the cop actually intended to shoot the autistic man. Neither the shooting victim nor the disabled man he was trying to protect were armed, and the police officer knew it.
Cell phone footage provided by the San Francisco Gate clearly reveals Kinsey telling the cop that his patient was unarmed and posed no threat to anybody. The toy truck is also clearly visible in the footage.
“All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
The cop shot anyway. He fired his gun three times, completely missing his alleged target while putting at least one bullet into the body of Charles Kinsey. The shots did not render the therapist unconscious, and as he lay bleeding in the street, he asked the cop why he shot him. The cop answered, “I don’t know.”
The police's reason for shooting autistic man's unarmed black therapist almost makes things worse https://t.co/VnTqRDzkTs— The Independent (@Independent) July 22, 2016
On Wednesday, Kinsey spoke with reporter Alex DiPrato of 7News from his bed at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He told the reporter that he complied with the officer’s demands to lay on his back on the ground and raise his hands into the surrender position. Kinsey noted that he was more concerned for the welfare of his mentally disabled patient than he was for himself. He assumed police officers would not shoot him because he was clearly unarmed and cooperating. He was wrong.
After the unnamed officer shot Kinsey, cops rushed the bleeding man, frisked him, flipped him over, and handcuffed him while he lay face-down in the middle of the road. The wounded man said it took at least 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
“When I went to the ground, I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up. And I am laying down here just like this, and I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand.”
Charles Kinsey said that when the cop shot him, his first thoughts were for his family.
“My life flashed right in front of me. When he hit me, my first thing that I’m thinking, I’m thinking about my family.”
MACtown manager Clint Dower told WSVN reporters that after the cop shot Kinsey, the autistic patient was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police car where he remained for more than three hours. The patient is now hospitalized due to the emotional trauma he suffered during Monday’s shooting incident. Kinsey was released from the same hospital on Thursday.
Charles Kinsey wants a full police investigation, and he wants an explanation from the cop who said he “did not know” why he shot him.
On Tuesday, the North Miami Police Department released a statement on Twitter. The PD says the officer who shot Charles Kinsey and “did not know why” has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation. The department requests that witnesses to the shooting call 305-891-0294.
[Photo by Jani Bryson/Getty Images]