Charles Kinsey: Unarmed Therapist Sues Officer Who Shot Him While Protecting Autistic Patient

Charles Kinsey: Sues Officer That Shot Unarmed Therapist Protecting Autistic Patient

Charles Kinsey, the unarmed therapist who was shot by North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda, has filed a federal suit on Thursday against him. Kinsey accuses him and his fellow officers of excessive force and false arrest, the Daily Mail reports. Charles Kinsey is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages after he was shot in the leg by Officer Aledda as he lay in the street next to his 27-year-old autistic ward, Arnaldo Rios, on July 18.

The 47-year-old married father of five claims Officer Aledda didn’t help stop the bleeding he caused following the inexplicable shooting, even after recognizing no weapon was present.

Arnaldo Rios had wandered away from a group home when a woman called police saying a man was walking down the road with a gun and appeared to be suicidal. What she mistook for a gun was actually a toy truck, and Charles Kinsey was trying to convince Rios to return to the group home where he lives. The suit alleges that police officers arrived at the scene with assault weapons and immediately approached Rios and Kinsey in a “military-style formation.”

Kinsey’s complaint says that he attempted to clarify the circumstances surrounding the situation, saying Rios had a toy truck and not a weapon and that all of the officers, including Aledda, were in close enough proximity to hear him.

The complaint alleges an officer confirming as much over the radio, “It is a toy truck, he’s saying it is a toy truck.”

Even the woman who called 911 claiming to witness a suicidal guy walking down the road with a gun seems to backtrack on whether it was a weapon in the audio released on Thursday.

“The Spanish guy looks like an individual that is mentally ill. If it’s a firearm but something that looked like the shape of a gun I do not know. So just be careful. He’s sitting in the middle in the road.”

North Miami Police said her description of the situation is why policemen pointed rifles at the pair. What isn’t as easily explained is why Charles Kinsey was shot in the first place. Cell phone footage caught the moments before the shooting and shows Kinsey lying on his back with his hands up while yelling at police officers that Arnaldo Rios, who is sitting next to him, is autistic and holding a toy truck.

Video failed to capture the three shots Officer Jonathan Aledda fired at Charles Kinsey; two missed, but one struck him just above his left knee, going through his thigh and exiting near his waist. Kinsey was then promptly handcuffed and left lying on the ground for 20 minutes, says Kinsey’s lawyer, Hilton Napoleon to Democracy Now.

“If they really made a mistake and shot my client, there was no reason to handcuff him, and there was definitely no reason to fail to render aid. I mean, they basically left him there bleeding in the street and didn’t render him any aid. They didn’t put any pressure or a bandage on his wound. And that’s problematic, especially if they’re claiming that this was a mistake. That’s not how you treat an individual who you shot by mistake.”

Charles Kinsey asked the officer why he shot him, and Aledda responded, “I don’t know.

However, through the union, has said he was firing at Rios, thinking the toy truck was a gun and he was going to shoot Kinsey.

Officer Jonathan Aledda is currently on paid leave, but Police Cmdr. Emile Hollant, who was suspended without pay for allegedly fabricating information regarding the shooting, has been reinstated after an investigation exonerated him.

The shooting incident has traumatized Arnaldo Rios so much that he has been admitted to the psychiatric ward at Aventura Hospital for emotional trauma, but he was reunited with Charles Kinsey for the first time since the incident last week.

Charles Kinsey, who now needs a cane to stand and walk, told reporters that Rios leaped from his bed and embraced him when he walked into his room for their visit.

[Image via RT/YouTube]