Cell phone video footage has been released that shows the moments before an unarmed black therapist with his hands up was shot by North Miami police while attempting to care for his autistic patient, according to WSVN-TV.
Disabled caregiver Charles Kinsey was lying on his back with his hands in the air, attempting to talk to the officers who were aiming their weapons at them. The police had received reports of a man with a gun threatening suicide.
“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” Kinsey said, “and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand.”
Kinsey can be heard clearly saying to police on the video “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Kinsey was shot while in this submissive position. Kinsey said he still has no idea why the officers shot him.
“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!” Kinsey said. “And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.’”
After the shooting, Kinsey said that police handcuffed him and left him bleeding on the sidewalk for a while, ignoring his cries for assistance.
“I was really more worried about him than myself. I was thinking as long as I have my hands up,” Kinsey said, “they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking, they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong.”
Kinsey was eventually taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital to be treated for his injury.
“Arriving officers attempted to negotiate with two men on the scene, one of whom was later identified as suffering from autism,” said North Miami Police in a statement. “At some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon, striking the employee.”
According to North Miami Police, the officer responsible for shooting Kinsey has been placed on administrative leave. The statement did not mention whether he will face charges, but a state attorney is already involved with the investigation.
WSVN-TV’s full interview with Kinsey and the original cell phone footage can be viewed here:
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