A North Miami Police commander has been suspended after allegedly providing conflicting testimony about the July 18 shooting of Charles Kinsey.
Kinsey was shot by police officer Jonathan Aledda as he lay on the ground with his hands up while trying to explain that the autistic man he was caring for did not pose a threat, media reports say.
City officials did not provide details about the fabricated information allegedly given by Commander Emile Hollant, who will receive no pay during his suspension.
“He totally violated his trust from the public to protect and serve by giving disinformation to this department,” North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin told the media July 22, according to WTVJ. “He not only jeopardized Mr. Kinsey’s life and the life of his client, but he jeopardized the life of every police officer who serves this city.”
According to anonymous sources who spoke to WPLG, Hollant was the person heard on the police radio immediately prior to the shooting saying that the autistic man had a gun. In fact, the man was playing with a toy truck.
Hollant later allegedly told investigators he was not present at the shooting.
Kinsey was struck in the leg during the shooting. He was released from the hospital July 21.
North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph also spoke at the press conference.
“As your mayor of this great city of North Miami, I can assure you that we will go wherever the truth takes us,” said Joseph, according to the Miami New Times. “I can assure you that the community will stay informed at all times. I have made it clear that I will not go against anything that goes against the process -- that is, the process of obtaining truth in this matter.”
Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime was critical of the police.
“The City of North Miami shall not and will not tolerate any bad behavior from our police officers,” he said. “I want, and hope, that justice will be served. In North Miami, the relationship between the police and community has always been great, and we cannot let one incident destroy that relationship.”
The family of the autistic man has hired an attorney and is expected to speak out July 23.
Hilton Napoleon, Kinsey’s attorney, expressed concern about the police’s actions following Hollant’s suspension.
“The fact that they were trying to cover this up initially is a huge problem,” Napoleon said to WTVJ.