Miami police are offering up the worst excuse ever for why they shot an autistic man’s caregiver while he was on the ground with his hands in the air. They are now claiming that the cop shot him on accident and was really aiming for the disabled man he was caring for; as if that somehow makes it any better.
According to the head of the Florida city’s police union, the unnamed officer was trying to shoot the autistic man who was sitting in the street next to his terrified caregiver, playing with a toy truck.
John Rivera, head of Miami-Dade’s Police Benevolent Association, said the trigger happy officer was simply trying to protect Charles Kinsey from his patient. The swat officer was convinced that the toy truck in the hands of the autistic man was a weapon. So he fired three rounds from a military-style assault rifle at the disabled man, missed him, and accidentally shot the caregiver in the leg. Because what better way to protect somebody than pumping them full of lead?
Video of the incident quickly went viral and has sparked international outrage.
Rivera said that the officer, whose name has not yet been released, is a 30-year-old Hispanic man who is a four-year veteran of the department and has earned multiple awards. It isn’t clear what those awards were for, but I’m guessing they weren’t for knowing how to interact with people who have disabilities. Or for marksmanship.
Police had received a 911 call about an armed man threatening suicide. When officers arrived, they ordered both men to get down on the ground. Kinsey complied with the officer’s commands. He tried to explain that the autistic man was his patient and that he was trying to coax him back inside a mental health care facility. Because of his autism, the man Kinsey was caring for did not do as the cop ordered because he didn’t understand what was happening and simply sat next to his caregiver. Suddenly, shots rang out and Kinsey was hit in the leg.
Kinsey’ attorney, Hilton Napoleon, said that when his client asked the officer why he had shot him, the cop replied that he didn’t know.
“The officer told my client, ‘I don’t know’ — those were his words verbatim,” said Napoleon. “Another officer asked, ‘Why did you shoot this guy?’ and the shooting officer said he didn’t know why he shot him.”
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Featured image via video screen capture