A Florida therapist is telling his story after he was shot by police while lying on the ground with his hands up in the air (video below).
Cell phone video was released July 20 showing Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with both hands up in the air, desperately pleading for police not to shoot him, WSVN reported.
In the video, Kinsey can be heard explaining to police that he was a therapist and that he was trying to calm down an autistic patient. North Miami police had been called to the scene on July 18 about a man walking around with a gun threatening to kill himself.
But Kinsey told officers that he and the patient, Rinaldo, were unarmed.
“All he has is a toy truck,” Kinsey is heard telling police in the video. “A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
In an interview from his hospital bed, Kinsey told WSVN that Rinaldo had run away from a group home. Kinsey said he was trying to calm Rinaldo down and that all the patient had in his hands was a toy truck, which was clearly visible to police.
“When I went to the ground, I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up and I am laying down here just like this, and I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms,’” Kinsey told WSVN. “I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand.”
“I was really more worried about him than myself,” Kinsey explained.” 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 was shot in the leg. The shooting was not captured on video, but Kinsey said he had his hands up the entire time.
“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.'”
Kinsey said it didn’t stop there.
“They flipped me over, and I’m faced down in the ground, with cuffs on, waiting on the rescue squad to come,” Kinsey recalled. “I’d say about 20 ... minutes it took the rescue squad to get there. And I was like, bleeding — I mean bleeding and I was like, ‘Wow.'”
Despite the incident, Kinsey said he is happy to be alive.
“My life flashed in front of me,” he said. “When he hit me, my first thing I’m thinking, I’m thinking about my family.”
On July 20, a group called the Circle of Brotherhood protested outside of the North Miami Police Department. Kinsey is a member of the group.
The group, which works to solve problems in the community, requested that police answer questions about whether the officer who shot Kinsey would be facing charges.
“There’s no justification for shooting an unarmed person who’s talking to you and telling you that they don’t have a gun, and that they’re a mental health counselor,” Kinsey’s lawyer, Hilton Napoleon, told the news station.
The name of the police officer who shot Kinsey has not been released at this time. The State Attorney is now involved with the investigation.
The officer was put on administrative leave for at least a week, the Miami Herald reported.
Napoleon said he is in talks with city officials about a possible settlement.
“They realize this was something inappropriate regarding the shooting,” Napoleon told the Herald. “If police departments come out more and admit fault, that would probably go a long way.”