Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Mental Health Worker - Who Had His Hands Up - as He Cared for Autistic Man
Charles Kinsey, who is black, was trying to coax an autistic man back into a group home when North Miami police shot him.
An unarmed black mental health worker was allegedly shot by police in Florida on Monday while caring for an autistic man.
North Miami Police received a 911 call on Monday about an armed man who was threatening suicide, but arrived to find caregiver Charles Kinsey in a street alongside a man who turned out to be his patient.
Video of the incident shows Kinsey trying to coax the patient — who sits cross-legged with a toy truck at his lap — back to a mental health center after he had wandered away, CBS News reports.
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Despite being unarmed, Kinsey said he instinctively put his hands in the air as police arrived.
However, an officer reportedly discharged a weapon and Kinsey was shot in the leg.
"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," Kinsey told reporters from a hospital bed.
Video appears to show Kinsey with his hands still in the air after he had been shot.
As police approached Kinsey, he said he was cuffed and bleeding on the concrete when he asked an officer why he was shot. Kinsey said the officer responded, "I don't know."
North Miami Police have put the officer on administrative leave. The department released a statement asking anyone with footage from the incident to come forward to aid in their investigation.
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In a press conference held late Thursday morning, newly named North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene reminded reporters that police arrived to the scene following a report of a man with a gun.
"Our officers responded to the scene with that threat in mind," the chief said. "We had a witness statement that there was a gun."
Eugene said the investigation will be "methodical and thorough" as the investigators "gather every fact" before reaching a judgement.
In subsequent remarks, local congresswoman Rep. Frederica Wilson expressed outrage over the video.
"This is like a nightmare," she said. "This is not supposed to be happening in North Miami...a city where police officers and the community gel."
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