Police Shoot Florida Man in Leg as He Attempted to Help Autistic Patient

What are your thoughts on this shooting?

What are your thoughts on this shooting?

A North Miami police officer shot an unarmed black man named Charles Kinsey on Monday as Kinsey was attempting to help a man with autism. According to Kinsey, he was shot while he was lying on the ground with his hands in the air.

Police were responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun who was attempting to commit suicide. When they arrived at the scene they found Kinsey—who works at a clinic for people with disabilities—trying to control an autistic man he refers to as “Rinaldo.”

Cell phone footage of the incident shows Kinsey lying on his back with his hands in the air. The autistic man is sitting beside him, holding what investigators later determined to be a toy truck, not a gun. Kinsey can be heard trying to calm his patient: “Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach,” he says.

Strangely, the video does not show the actual shooting. It cuts from Kinsey on the ground with his hands in the air to Kinsey handcuffed and lying on his stomach. Thus far, a video of the shooting itself has yet to surface, according to CNN.

North Miami Police have kept their cards close. North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene declined on Thursday to release the name or the race of the officer who fired his weapon. He said his department has turned the investigation over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida State Attorney’s office.

“[There are] many questions about what happened on Monday night,” Eugene told reporters. “You have questions, the community has questions, we as a city and as a member of the police department, I personally have questions.”

All the unanswered questions haven’t stopped social media users and politicians from harshly criticizing the police officer who pulled the trigger.

“We say to our boys and our men, if you’re ever stopped by the police, ‘freeze, don’t move,’ … that’s number one,” said Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson during a press conference. “What else could we have told [Kinsey]… what could have saved him from being shot?”

USA Today drew attention to a Twitter user named Helena Baptiste who said that “The only way #CharlesKinsey could have complied more was to have killed himself before cops got there.”

As for Kinsey, his reaction during the incident was surprise and confusion. “I’m like this right here, and when he shot me, it was so surprising,” Kinsey told WSVN-TV in Miami. “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 is expected to make a full recovery.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • E wright July 30, 2016, 2:52 pm

    I am always surprised at what cops “don’t know” about firearms, and there use. This is bad training in action, both in use of lethal force, and stress situational thinking. This officer appears to have failed both, and that lies squarely on training. This officer was not ready for the street if the evidence is correct, and he shot an unarmed man.

  • Sgt Frank July 30, 2016, 1:45 pm

    I can see no reason for this man getting shot other than they were aiming for the man with the toy and missed or the gun wen off due to nerves…..never should have happened.

  • Mark Wynn July 29, 2016, 8:34 pm

    Not justified. the officer didn’t even know why it happened. Either poor training, or a personality not suited for law enforcement on the street … or both.

  • Dave Emery July 29, 2016, 3:01 pm

    AD. See what happens when adrenaline hits? Do not rest your trigger finger on the trigger. Always index until you need to shoot. In Ranger Batt he’d be kicked out. Any AD (accidental discharge) is automatic bye-bye.

  • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 29, 2016, 2:33 pm

    I’m going to reveal the dirty little secret of why this is happening so often

    First of all, because it is NOT really that ‘often’. This sort of police ‘behavior’ has been going on since i can remember.

    But we never had all the intense scrutiny this is so pervasive today. There were no cell phone cameras or vulture sensational paperazi media like there is now. AND, there were no ‘special interest’ agenda based groups who train their constituency
    to make a point of recording police activity for propaganda utility.

    So naturally you will see MORE in the news so this creates the impression that there IS more. That’s why, in local government’s attempts to mitigate this, part of quick and high end settlement agreements in obviously bad cases, the plaintiff agrees to a non-disclosure gag clause. With the agenda based media hell bent on hype without any concern for consequences milking these incidents for all they’re worth. Thus the additional appearance of being a situation out of control, when it’s really not. When you consider the incident proportion ratios to overall population percentages and demographics by comparison.

    Secondly, there’s a general training anomoly with police departments these days. They don’t ‘train ’em the way they used to’, to put it mildly. Basically, it’s a peculiar distortion of response habit being exhibited more frequently regarding the deployment of deadly force when it is NOT really absolutely necessary. In other words, the modern cops seem to marginalize the behavioral approach to ‘Necessary’ force in incremental escalation–especially within a potentially flawed emotional content of ‘in fear of your life or personal safety’ rationale. Their mission statement becomes convoluted and incongruent to the job description. They claim their only job purpose is to make it home at the end of the day. Serve and Protect then becomes Search and Destroy. They begin to perceive any adverse public situation as a conflict in ‘enemy’ territory. Even though the nature of police duty is quite different than actual military combat in warfare.

    Throw in a contemporary society that is awash in an ‘anyathing goes’ existentialism and this formidable challenge to a ‘peace officer’s’ old days ‘routine patrol’ just doesn’t slide on the ice the way it used to.

    An excessively ‘nervous’ or ‘fearful’ cop can literally be ‘afraid for his life’ in virtually every call he answers, depending on their mindset? So far too often they jump immediately to deadly force, easily facilitated by their sidearm or Tac-rifle.
    They lose reasonable sight of justified lethal force and knee jerk into a ‘bad shoot’.

    Add also that municipalities with budget concerns often loosen up on the training requirements. In my state, the ‘certification’ process is around 90 days and maybe a couple weeks with a training officer at whatever department hires you before they turn you loose on the public If you were waiting months to get hired you literally forgot almost everything you learned! Your ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game training takes over. And if you never had any experience in physical confrontations like at least a contact sport or anything and you are not physically powerful, your chances of wrongly blowing someone away in a nasty domestic disturbance when it wasn’t really necessary are pretty good?

    The point being that the nature of the job description is, in fact, putting yourself in the midst of danger and risk to accomplish service to the citizens who pay you for that. NOT to summarily kill anyone you might be afraid of just to preclude any possibility of injury to yourself? If you can’t handle that risk, then get another job?

    And lastly, you have to remember that just because somebody wears a badge doesn’t automatically make them ‘superior’ in human function. After all, cops do come from the same gene pool as the general public. This is further exacerbated with nepotism bringing in even more ‘undesirable’ officers of the law. Don’t forget, JOBS, especially those not requiring college degrees, are still not flying off the shelves these days? So that feckless nephew who couldn’t make it through computer programming school gets to patrol the town streets because his uncle is the Chief of Police? As a result, many rural Sheriff’s departments or municipal police barely make over minimum wage because of the ‘demand’ for the jobs.

    So the first thing to address when attempting to ‘qualify’ any person for the job of police officer is to have a clear understanding that the JOB is simply NOT for anybody and everybody who applies. It is a seriously complicated occupation that should require seriously appropriate training and personality qualifications.

    Until that happens, go ahead and hope for the best, but continue to expect the worst.

    • Steve in Detroit March 9, 2018, 7:09 am

      Almost 2 years since you commented, but I will add. Where you see a increase in these shootiings is not in the “Worst Neighborhood” areas of where ever they happen. You have small town LEOs that are acting like they are on vehicle of 1 patrols in areas of Detroit or Chiraq, where yes there are citizens that truly hate you for your job. In Detroit we have a climate where situations like this could be a everyday thing, but the training takes out that “Search & Destroy” attitude and enforces the “Serve & Protect”. As a Police Officer you are a Public Servant, working for population of your jurisdiction, not special forces hell bent on killing your employers. My 2 cents.

  • Jim July 29, 2016, 12:26 pm

    No it was not justified in this instance. I am also a retired Officer. My personal opinion is that this Officer had his finger on the trigger where it did not belong and accidentally discharged his weapon. He was looking at the Autistic kid but because he was not aiming when the weapon discharged he struck the Black guy who was basically an innocent party. This is why he said “I don’t know” when the victim asked him why he shot him! Now he is giving another story instead of simply owning up to mishandling a firearm!

  • L E Henson July 29, 2016, 11:15 am

    BLUE LIVES MATTER – wait until the obamination’s “STRONG CITIES” UNITED NATIONS program takes over ALL Police Departments – YOUR BLM and other BS will be slaughtered first. Yes incompetents and thugs do represent 5% of most Departments. Inbred (family and friends) – the “PC” hires ARE the GREATEST DANGER to EVERYONE = a FACT no one wants to address.
    WHO and/or WHAT kills more of a certain group? Certainly isn’t the Police.
    Bottom Line – the COP was probably a PC or family hire – and the guy did NOT Comply!

  • john July 29, 2016, 9:20 am

    Thugs with guns. Somehow it’s okay, because they work for the government and have no accountability.

    • Mark Wynn July 29, 2016, 8:45 pm

      Don’t know how you can label this individual, who probably entered law enforcement for noble reasons, a “thug.” Might look up the dictionary meaning of the word, thug, from the Indian cult, thuggee. I can’t tipify the officer, either, because I don’t know anything about him … except I’m pretty confident he “screwed the pooch.”

  • ToddB July 29, 2016, 8:41 am

    And we finally come to the police shooting to far. I wonder if anyone has noticed the deafening silence of the ever so vocal police defenders? They wont touch this one with a 10 ft pole. Theres none of the usual ‘if he had complied…’ or ‘he looked like a suspect’ or ‘well he had a long criminal record’. Oh those defenders are still there but hiding out in safe forums where nobody but those of like mind will see, where cop bashing is not allowed so they know there will be no dissenting opinions. I cruised thru some of the forums, and people were tying themselves into knots trying to find an out for this cop. At first it was ‘accidental discharge’ 1 shot maybe, but 3? Then they all latched onto the police union statement that he missed, yea we all feel so much better Elmer Fudd is behind the trigger. I saw ‘maybe his scope wasnt zeroed’ how that makes the cop any more competent I dont know. And finally the best one, he missed deliberately as he did not want to follow an order to open fire. You could rig a ship with all the knots.

    Lets say we go with what the police union said, gross incompetence. A SWAT team member, which all of us civilians had been led to believe were the best of the best. Somehow missed a stationary man sized target at 50yds with 3 rds from an AR15. My 8yo son shoots better than that. And they still think he should keep his job why? And of course this scenario offers no explanation as to why they then cuffed the VICTIM he was trying to save and let him bleed for 20 min on the hot pavement.

    But that explanation was better then the alternative, that he hit his intended target. He was so ready for that super predator to leap into action. Hes a black man so obviously was waiting for his moment to strike. Deputy Fife, saw something, thought he saw something, bang the rifle goes off. Fortunately the usual didnt happen, where every cop on the scene starts shooting. And this would explain why when asked why he shot his answer was ‘I dont know’. What else could he possibly say in that moment to make it better? No furtive movements, no going for his waist, no running away. The cop shot a complying and unarmed civilian. There was zero justification.

    And then of course there was the usual bungled attempt at a cover up. The supervisor suspended without pay for….filing a false report. Thats cop talk for he LIED. And would explain why the VICTIM lay there bleeding for 20 min, they huddled together trying to figure some way to make it go away. Hoping that a warrant would pop up in the computer or some extensive criminal record. How would any of us feel, laying helpless in the broiling sun, handcuffed as we bleed from a bullet wound? Cops dont even act human anymore, not one effort at first aid. And there is no way they are going to try and say it took 20 min for an ambulance, no they simply didnt call it in while they tried to fix the scene.

    Then we come to the treatment of the autistic guy. Had an interview on TV with the man who runs the group home. It was pure police arrogance, they refused to let him see the patient, refused to tell him anything about his employee, basically go away or else. So they stuffed a traumatized handcuffed autistic man into the back of a cop car for 3 hrs, nobody said a word to him as he slowly went nuts in his head. The cops did ask the group home owner ‘he seems kind of loopy’. So cops now live in some alternate reality where autistic people dont exist? That was the only possible explanation, he was on drugs? Then to top it all off they called the owner said come get your patient, he drove down to the station, but hes not there. No the great humanitarians swung by the group home and pretty much shoved him out and drove away without so much as a word. WTF is wrong with these people?

    And the department knows they are between the proverbial rock and a hard place. No criminal record to smear the victim with, no gun, a video of the incident, and a falsified police report. I am really surprised a police press conference doesnt entail them coming out and saying ‘f**** you, see this badge’. But I guess at least one department has figured out circling the wagons was not going to work, no stonewalling. No they prefer the FBI not take an interest in the department. So time to let the cop dangle in the wind. Because either reason for this shooting, his next job should be flipping burgers.

  • James Gober July 22, 2016, 10:27 am

    And now the rest of the story….the cop who shot the man laying on the ground with his hands in the air now claims he was actually TRYING to shoot the other guy sitting up next to him in order to save the man laying down with his hands up, but missed and hit the guy he was trying to save. Hmmm, let’s see here…3 or 4 shots fired supposedly aimed at the large autistic man sitting upright, none hit the INTENDED target and one shot hits the person said cop was “trying to save”. Sorry, but cop needs to be fired and all departments need to take a long hard look at their training programs and perhaps institute a more robust psychological screening process for applicants. Obviously, NO shots were warranted here. Yes the original 911 call indicated suicidal man with a gun so psychologically responding officers had that in mind when they arrived on scene, understandably. However, training should require officers assess each situation dynamically using their own faculties and instincts. And for God’s sake, budget more time and money for range time. Pretty pathetic defense.
    I’ll always give the cop the first benefit of the doubt every time as they are in a tough situation, but his is sheer incompetence and piss poor training all around.

    • SuperG July 25, 2016, 2:18 pm

      Well said, and I agree. Now if we can just get “journalists” to stop citing the racial makeup of people when it is not germane to the incident, we’ll achieve better reporting.

    • Freedom Bird July 29, 2016, 10:00 am

      The police union claimed they open fire to save the black man with both arms raised in the air….but yet after they shot him THREE TIMES they managed to flip him over face down on hot pavement and cuffed him while he was laying there bleeding for 20 minutes. It goes to show these bastards would shamelessly make up lies after lies despite of how stupid their lies are.

    • Plato442 July 29, 2016, 1:55 pm

      Yes, very well put. These are all the facts that are coming out now, and the department is still trying to hush the matter. There was nothing else this man could have done to comply!!! At least the autistic man wasn’t shot. This man who was shot should win a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and the “cop” who shot him should be fired, flagged as incompetent and non rehirable and should be charged. I too give police officers the benefit of the doubt, but this case along with others are changing my mind…

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