On Monday, a 23-year-old autistic man carrying a toy truck escaped from a mental health center. Charles Kinsey, a worker at the health center, went after him to bring him back.
After a few minutes, the autistic man was still seen playing with the white toy in the middle of the roadway due to which it was blocked and Kinsey was lying on the ground besides him when a bullet struck his leg which was shot by a cop.
On Wednesday, Kinsey’s attorney Hilton Napoleon told, “He throws his hands up in the air and says, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ They say lie on the ground, so he does. He’s on his back with his hands in the air trying to convince the other guy to lie down. It doesn’t make any sense.”
A video recorded on a cell phone showed that the autistic man was sitting and playing with his toy while Kinsey obeyed the command given by the cop. The video also showed that Kinsey was requesting the cop not to fire while laying on the ground with his hands on his back. He told the cop that he didn’t have any weapon. “Lay down on your stomach,” Kinsey said to his patient in the video and he replied “Shut up” while he was still sitting on the roadway. Another video showed that the cops were searching for weapons in the clothes on Kinsey and the autistic man.
In an interview with WSVN-Channel 7, Kinsey told that after he was shot, the cops came near him, flipped him over and handcuffed him. He told that he said to the cop prior to the shot, “Sir, there’s no need for firearms. It was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite.” Kinsey said when he asked the cop why he fired his weapon, the cop replied, “I don’t know.”
By Wednesday, North Miami police didn’t give any explanation.
According to Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas, the task of investigation is assigned to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Cuevas told that the cops received a 911 call reporting that a man was in the street giving threats that he will kill himself. They approached the Northeast 127th Street and about 14th Avenue and started giving orders. When the autistic man didn’t obey the order, an officer fired 3 times, striking Kinsey once in the leg. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Cuevas said he has no idea who the cop was aiming at when he shot Kinsey.
North Miami police spokeswoman Natalie Buissereth said in a statement, “Arriving officers attempted to negotiate with the two men on the scene, one of whom was later identified as suffering from autism… At some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon.”
Any paperwork or an incident report of the shooting has not been released by the police till now.
There is no indication that a weapon of any kind was found at the scene. The officer who shot has been placed on administrative leave.
47-year-old Kinsey, who is an employer of MacTown Panther Group Homes and has been serving for almost a year, didn’t sustain any life-threatening injury and is expected to be home by Thursday.
He said in the hospital, “As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking. They’re not going to shoot me.”
On Wednesday, Napoleon said he was already negotiating a possible settlement with the city of North Miami. He added, “They realize this was something inappropriate regarding the shooting. If police departments come out more and admit fault, that would probably go a long way toward improving relations with the public.”
This case showed how difficult a situation can get when officers, who are already on edge, are forced to deal an individual with autism or a mental disability.
According to experts, the dangers only multiply when dealing with a mentally ill individual.
Kinsey told Channel 7 about the autistic man, “I was more worried about him than myself.”
Kinsey’s wife, Joyce Kinsey said, “I’m just grateful he’s alive and able to tell his story.”
News Source: www.MiamiHerald.com