Black Therapist with Raised Hands Shoot by Cop While Helping Patient

Posted: July 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

On Wednesday, a video was posted to the internet showing the moments before and after an unarmed black man in Florida was shot by police while his hands were raised, and he was laying in the street.

The shooting victim, Charles Kinsey, is a licensed behavioral therapist who was attempting to help an autistic man who had run away from a group home. Kinsey found the man, who can also be seen in the video, in the middle of the street, playing with a toy truck.

Kinsey was shot three times and subsequently hospitalized. In the video, police can be heard telling Kinsey to roll around on his stomach, and Kinsey can be heard explaining, “All he has is a truck. A toy truck. I’m a behavior therapist at a group home.” The toy truck was being held by the autistic man, and appears as a black object.

Kinsey said of the 23-year-old, “I was more worried about him than myself.”

This new shooting comes at a time of widespread protest against police shootings of black people, particularly Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile of Minnesota. Sterling was accosted by police while selling CDs at a local gas station, and Castile was in the process of retrieving his license and registration when he was shot. The killings highlight consistently unresolved issues concerning race and policing in the US.

Following the incident, North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene told reporters “Our officers responded to the scene with that threat in mind. We had witness statements that there was a gun. We had a 911 call with that same information,” he added, “However, I want to make it clear, there was no gun recovered.”

The North Miami Police Department said in a statement that officers “attempted to negotiate with two men on the scene,” when they responded to a call that claimed there was an armed man threatening to commit suicide.

Kinsey described the shooting saying, “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.'”

After being shot, Kinsey said, “They flipped me over, and I’m face down on the ground, with cuffs on, waiting on the rescue squad to come. I’d say about 20, about 20 minutes it took the rescue squad to get there. And I was like, bleeding — I mean bleeding, and I was like, ‘Wow.'”

The shooting itself was not caught on video and the officer’s justification for shooting remains unknown. The officer is currently on administrative leave during the investigation.

Kinsey is surprised that his compliance with police didn’t lead to a de-escalation. “As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not gonna shoot me, that’s what I’m thinking,” he said. “Wow, was I wrong.”


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