In wake of the international outrage over police officers fatally shooting unarmed and innocent Black men, another incident coming out of Miami has at least left a man alive, but wondering just why he was shot by officers after he left his hands in the air the entire time.
New video out of North Miami shows an unarmed black man moments before and after he was shot by police while lying in the street with his hands up.
Behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey, 47, is recovering in an area hospital after being shot in the leg three times during the incident, which took place on Monday.
According to local Fox station WSVN, police were called to the scene by someone who said there was a man in the street with a gun threatening suicide. However, when officers arrived, Kinsey was trying to help a 23-year-old autistic patient who had run out of a group home and into the street with a toy truck in his hands.
On the video, Kinsey could be heard explaining to police that the autistic man was holding a toy truck and that neither of them was armed.
“All he has is a toy truck in his hand, a toy truck,” Kinsey explained from a supine position in the road. “I’m a behavior therapist at a group home.”
The autistic patient, who was not named, yelled at Kinsey to shut up as he sat in the road playing with the truck.
The footage did not show the moment Kinsey was shot and it was not clear what happened during that time.
“When he shot me, it was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite,” Kinsey told WSVN from his hospital bed. “And when he hit me, I’m like, I still got my hands in the air. I said, ‘You know, I just got shot.’ And I’m saying to them, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ And his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
After the shooting, Kinsey was handcuffed and left in the road until an ambulance arrived, his attorney, Hilton Napoleon, told NBC Miami.
Police said in a statement given to the Miami Herald that they “attempted to negotiate with the two men on the scene” and that “at some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon.” Authorities have not released the name of the officer or offered any additional details, other than to state that he had been placed on leave while the incident was investigated.
Napoleon wondered if his client may have been shot by accident by an officer who was nervous after recent attacks on police.
“It leads you to wonder that had those things not happened, had the police not been ambushed in those parts and had they not been on heightened alert, would they have come out with assault rifles and accidentally, I don’t know if it was intentional or accidental, shot an individual who’s laying on the ground with his hands up?” Napoleon told NBC Miami.
Ironically, Kinsey said he didn’t have any fear that he would be shot.
“I was really more worried about [the patient] than myself, because as long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not going to shoot me,” Kinsey told WSVN. “This is what I’m thinking, ‘They’re not going to shoot me.’ Wow, was I wrong.”