NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – A therapist who works with people with disabilities is telling his story after he said police shot him while he was trying to help his patient with autism.
Cellphone video was released Wednesday afternoon showing Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air, telling officers that weapons are not necessary. “When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” Kinsey said, “and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand.”
In his hospital bed and wearing bandages, Kinsey said, he was attempting to calm an autistic patient who ran away from a group home. Kinsey could be heard in the video saying, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
He is also heard asking his patient to calm down. “Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach.”
The ordeal went on for a few minutes before Kinsey said one of the officers shot him. “I’m like this right here, and when he shot me, it was so surprising,” Kinsey said. “I thought it was a mosquito bite, and when it hit me I had my hands in the air, and I’m thinking I just got shot! And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.’”
North Miami Police said the incident began, Monday, when someone called 911 and said there was a man walking around with a gun threatening suicide. Kinsey said the man was his patient and the alleged gun was a toy truck. “I was really more worried about him than myself. 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 said what police did after the shooting is what upsets him the most. “They got three sets of handcuffs. They cuff my hands, and they flip me over, and I am laying on the concrete like this. I’m bleeding,” he said.
Despite everything that’s happened, Kinsey is happy to be alive. Standing by his bedside, his wife said, “Right now, I am just grateful that he is alive, and he is able to tell his story.”
Kinsey only wants to help people and is perplexed as to why officers fired. “Everytime I close my eyes I am getting flashbacks,” Kinsey said.
Around 6 p.m. Wednesday, a group called the Circle of Brotherhood stood outside the North Miami Police Department, requesting that police answer questions about what happened and if the officer responsible for shooting will face charges.
North Miami Police have not released the officer’s name or an update on their investigation. However, they did say that the State Attorney is now involved with the investigation.