Cellphone footage has surfaced of the moments leading up to the police shooting and arrest of an unarmed caretaker in Miami as he lay on the ground with his hands in the air.
Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist at a mental health center, was helping his 23-year-old autistic patient who had run away from a local group home when he was approached by police, the Miami Herald reports.
Officers had received a call regarding a suicidal man with a gun in the area, who turned out to be Kinsey’s autistic patient wielding a toy truck.
Kinsey was filmed repeatedly trying to explain the situation to officers as he lay on the ground with his hands in the air.
However, when the autistic man didn’t comply with police orders to lie down, a Miami officer reportedly fired his assault rifle three times, hitting Kinsey once in the leg.
The video was obtained by Kinsey’s attorney Hilton Napoleon and aired by WSVN on Wednesday. In an interview with the news channel, Kinsey, 47, said he asked the officer why he had shot him and the cop responded: “I don’t know”.
After he was injured, police proceeded to turn Kinsey onto his stomach and cuff him as he lay wounded on the street before being transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“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.”
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave, KTLA5 reports.
Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas said he didn’t know who the unnamed officer was aiming for when he hit Kinsey and added that the investigation has been turned over to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.