The North Miami Police Department has identified the officer who shot unarmed black behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey earlier this week as Jonathan Aledda. Aledda claims to have been aiming at Kinsey’s autistic patient when he instead misfired and wounded the therapist.
According to Local 10 News, the city manager Larry M. Spring identified Jonathan Aledda in a news conference that the city officials held on Friday, and some sources have said that the reason for the delay in the release of the officer’s name is that the department was attempting to protect the man. Video surfaced of Charles Kinsey in the midst of attempting to provide assistance to his troubled patient, laying on the ground with his hands in the air just moments before Officer Aledda shot him, and the incident quickly made headlines throughout the country. Reportedly, the officer began to receive multiple death threats afterwards.
Jonathan Aledda is a 30-year-old cop who has been a member of the police department for four years and is a part of Miami’s SWAT unit. He was also named as officer of the month back in September 2013 and October 2014. For his apparent role in the shooting of the unarmed Charles Kinsey, as per the standard protocol for an officer-involved shooting, the cop has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
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
Many outraged protesters have made vocal their belief that Officer Aledda should instead be fired and criminal charges be brought against him. One of the main reasons for their argument stems from Charles Kinsey’s own testimony that immediately after he was shot, he asked the officer why, only to receive a response of “I don’t know.” Also, despite the now prevalent claims that the bullet was meant to protect the therapist and not wound him, after Kinsey was shot he was handcuffed and left on the ground for an extensive period while he was in need of medical attention.
North Miami Mayor Dr. Smith Joseph was also present at the press conference and went on record as saying that he intends to ensure that the proper steps are taken in the investigation.
“As your mayor of this great city of North Miami, I assure you that we will go wherever the truth takes us and any necessary decisions will be taken by the proper authorities. Now, I have had the chance to sit with my city manager, my chief of police as well as my city attorney. I must tell you, community concerns will be addressed.”
Spring also announced that a second police officer who was at the scene when Kinsey was shot has also been placed on administrative leave. The New York Daily News reports that the second officer suspension is without pay and was given because the man provided conflicting statements regarding the controversial shooting. Spring also sought to assure the public that as the city manager, he has been made aware of exactly how the public feels on the matter and is equally distressed to have learned of the events.
“This will not be tolerated. As city manager, I am aware of the public’s sentiment. We have received hundreds of calls and emails both at our police department and at City Hall. I can assure you we are listening.”
John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, insists that the officer was trying to aid Charles Kinsey and that “this is not a case of a rogue cop; this is not a case of police abuse.” He also stated that the officers had been responding to a report that there had been an armed man threatening suicide in the area, and this was the reason that the officers were on high alert and thought that the 24-year-old autistic man playing with the truck may have been a threat to Kinsey.
Rivera also read a brief statement from the officer who shot Kinsey, pleading his case.
“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 I hate to hear others paint me as something I am not.”
[Image via Facebook]