Officers from the North Miami Police responded to a 911 call where the caller claimed that a man with a gun was threatening suicide.
The call was a lie.
Instead, officers rolled up, weapons drawn, to find a severely autistic man clearly holding a toy truck in his hands.
They knew the man was autistic because his group home caretaker rushed out to explain to officers what what going on, as the caretaker clearly explained, with his hands in the air as his oblivious charge continued playing with his truck.
Recognizing that the 911 caller was in error, the officers holstered their handguns and put away their rifles and everyone went about their day.
A therapist who works with people with disabilities is telling his story after he said police shot him while he was trying to help his patient with autism.
Cellphone video was released Wednesday afternoon showing Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air, telling officers that weapons are not necessary. “When I went to the ground, I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up,” Kinsey said, “and I am laying down here just like this, and I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand.”
In his hospital bed, Kinsey said, he was attempting to calm an autistic patient who ran away from a group home. Kinsey could be heard in the video saying, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
He is also heard asking his patient to calm down. “Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach.”
The ordeal went on for a few minutes before Kinsey said one of the officers shot him. “I’m like this right here, and when he shot me, it was so surprising,” Kinsey said. “It was like a mosquito bite, and when it hit me, I’m like, ‘I still got my hands in the air, and I said, ‘No I just got shot! And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
North Miami Police said the incident began, Monday, when someone called 911 and said there was a man walking around with a gun threatening suicide. Kinsey said the man was his patient and the alleged gun was a toy truck, which he said was clearly visible to police. “I was really more worried about him than myself. I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking, they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong.”
Let’s see if we can break this down.
We have an autistic man (Rinaldo) who is clearly oblivious to the world around him, holding a shiny sliver object in his hand. While you may be able to mistake the truck itself for the slide of a handgun, it’s also readily apparent by the way that he is holding the object that it does not have any sort of a grip. I’m no detective, but this is what my friends in law enforcement might call “a clue.”
But this autistic man isn’t a cipher the officers have to figure out entirely on their own. Mr. Kinsley, Rinaldo’s behavior therapist at his group home, is with him, laying on his back (no doubt following police commands) with his hands in the air, calmly explaining to officers what is really going on.
There’s every reason for an officer to make a cautious approach here to get a better look and verify that the non-gun in Rinaldo’s hand truly is a toy truck, and to call the incident to a close.
But that’s not what happened.
A shot rings out.
Mr. Kinsley is hit in the leg.
Officers then make their approach and cuff both Rinaldo and Mr. Kinsley.
If Mr. Kinsley’s claim is true and the officer’s response to Mr. Kinsey’s obvious question of, “Why did you shoot me?” is the answer of, “I don’t know,” then it seems we’ve got a very serious training problem here.
It’s one for an officer to fire and make a center of exposed mass hit on a suspect and be able to clearly articulate why they fired a shot, even if it later turns out that the suspect was only holding a brush or a cell phone or nothing at all.
That’s clearly not what happened here.
Both the shot placement and the officer’s alleged response strongly suggest that a poorly trained officer was roughly pointing a gun in the general direction of Rinaldo and Kinsley and was looking over the top of his weapon with his finger on the trigger. If the shot was fired by the officer with the patrol rifle, it also means that the safety was off, which it should not be if the officer was competently trained.
When you look at the totality of the circumstances, I’m about 95% convinced that this shooting was a negligent discharge, fired by scared officer with less than competent training in the use of their firearms, no doubt on-edge as a result of the rash of recent ambushes of police officers by domestic terrorists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
This presumed negligent discharge could have just as easily killed Mr. Kinsley or his charge Rinaldo if the barrel of the firearm had been oriented just a few degrees differently when the officer pulled the trigger.
I strongly sympathize with law enforcement officers, especially in a time where the Democrat Party and their revolutionary communist allies (Black Lives Matter is supported by a number of communist groups, including the Revolutionary Communist Party, or RCP) have all be declared “open season” on society’s guardians. I understand that they are under intense pressure and feel targeted.
That pressure is still no excuse to ignore both basic firearms safety protocols and common sense. The North Miami Police are damn lucky that they’re not having to explain the negligent shooting death of a harmless autistic man holding of a toy truck or his therapist.
We hope that the North Miami Police quickly go on the record and explain what happened (this is a very simple case requiring little investigation), apologize to Mr. Kinsley, and immediately put in place remedial training measures so that this does not happen again.