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Miami Police officer shot autistic man’s therapist who had his hands up

July 22, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Miami Police officer shot autistic man’s therapist who had his hands up

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South Florida police announced an investigation into a  police officer who shot and injured an autistic man’s caregiver, as footage surfaced apparently showing the caregiver lying down with his arms raised before the cop shot him.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, North Miami Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas said that police responded to reports of a man who was threatening to shoot himself.

Upon their arrival, officers discovered Charles Kinsey, 47, a therapist who works with individuals with disabilities. Reports indicate that one of his patients, 27, ran away from a group home, and the therapist informed police that he was trying to bring the patient back.

Police commanded that Kinsey and his patient, who was perching in the street playing with a toy, to lie down on the ground. The video then shows the therapist laying down with his hands up and trying to get his patient to comply.

Kinsey was heard on video telling the cop that “All he has is a toy truck, a toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”

This incident comes after weeks of violent acts involving law enforcement. Three officers were killed, and another three were injured this past Sunday in Louisiana. Two weeks prior, two white Baton Rouge officers killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, during an altercation at a convenience shop. The shooting, which was filmed on a cell phone, provoked protests all over the nation about police handling of the black community.

Just one day after, 32-year-old Philando Castile, another black man, was shot and killed in Minnesota during a traffic stop. On July 7th, a gunman murdered five Dallas cops as they patrolled a peaceful protest.

Kinsey’s attorney, Hilton Napoleon, presented cellphone footage to the Miami Herald that was recorded just moments before shot were fired. The video exhibits Kinsey lying in the street with his hands up, begging the cops not to shoot him. The autistic man, who was sitting next to Kinsey, was shouting at him to “shut up.”

Moments before Kinsey was shot, he said: “Sir, there’s no need for firearms.”

Reports indicate that Kinsey is black, however, authorities have not revealed the identity or the race of the officer who shot him. All that is currently known is that the officer has been placed on administrative leave.

In an interview with the press, Kinsey said that he was more concerned about his patient than himself during the occurrence.

Kinsey stated: “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… Wow, was I wrong.”

According to the New York Post, a union official confirmed on Thursday that the cop actually mean to shoot the man’s patient.

The video released by Kinsey’s lawyer also shows Kinsey urging the patient to “please be still… get down… lay on your stomach.”

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