Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MIAMI MAN COMPLAINT and Cooperative With Police but still shot

It would seem that the cycle of urban violence in the United States has added a new chapter in Miami, on the afternoon of Monday July 18. Not long after the violent shooting at Baton Rouge that left 3 police officers dead and 3 more wounded, North Miami police shot and wounded a behavioral therapist caught up in a tense standoff. This even after the victim was lying on the ground with his hands up and repeatedly explaining the situation.

According to CNN, the man’s name was Charles Kinsey, and he found himself in that predicament when he tried to protect one of his patients, an autistic 23-year old, who had escaped from the group home where he lived and Kinsey worked in. A 911 call around 5 in the afternoon misidentified the autistic as an armed man threatening to commit suicide, spurring police in North Miami to arrive at the scene with assault rifles and ready for lots of shooting.

Kinsey managed to reach his patient, identified only by the name Rinaldo, just as responding officers trained their weapons at them. A cellphone video shot during the incident – released three days later by Kinsey’s lawyer – saw the therapist complying with police commands without hesitation, lying on the ground and keeping his hands up. All the while he identified himself and his companion, assured the officers that the “gun” held by the autistic was only a toy truck, and tried to cajole his patient to follow as the officers bid.

Everything seemed well in hand. Then a 30-year old Hispanic officer discharged his sidearm, hitting Kinsey in the leg – a moment apparently excised from the released video. Yet again an incident had the public seeing a police officer shoot an African-American man, arousing a storm of protest even as recent events also saw disgruntled and violent black men assaulting police in seeming retribution: a cycle of violence that has snared both law enforcement and color communities in the US.

Kinsey, who was immediately handcuffed after being shot, was able to ask the cop who shot him why he did so. The officer only tersely replied, “I don’t know”. And nothing more was said of it until Kinsey was sent to the hospital.

The incident itself has now fallen under the purview of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with prosecutors set to determine whether the officer who fired the shot – now on administrative leave in accordance with procedure – should be charged.

An alternative viewpoint however was presented by Dade County Police Benevolent Association president John Rivera to USA Today. He related that at a recent press conference the officer who fired the shot had actually been aiming at the autistic patient, unaware that his toy was not a weapon and mistaken assuming that he was going to attack the prone Kinsey. He missed however, and hit Kinsey instead.

Rivera insisted that the shooting was an honest mistake and saw other media as being prejudiced and unfair in painting the officer as another black-hating rogue cop.

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