Who Is Charles Kinsey? The Miami Man Says He Was Shot While Helping His Autistic Patient
This past month alone, we've seen headline after headline tracing that which has become disturbingly commonplace in America: A person of color being gunned down by police. In most of the most high-profile cases this past July, the victims died after being shot by officers. Thankfully, in the case of Charles Kinsey, he's escaped becoming the next person dying at the hands of police — though his story is an equally horrifying one.
According to a report from The Huffington Post, Kinsey, a black 47-year-old behavioral therapist from South Miami, was shot in the leg three times after, he says, going to the aid of an autistic patient who had wandered away from the group home where Kinsey works. He was out on the street trying to retrieve the man when police showed up.
Miami police claim that they were responding to a call about an armed man threatening suicide, and in a released statement, the Miami police department says the officers involved in the incident have been put on leave as the department and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office complete an investigation.
A new video shows the disturbing details leading up to and immediately after the shooting: Kinsey lays on the ground, hands in the air, while his autistic patient sit alongside him, playing with a toy. While on the pavement, Kinsey can be heard telling the officers that they are both unarmed, and that the rectangular object in the patient's hands is merely a toy truck.
Following the release of this disturbing video, Kinsey's name will likely become synonymous with yet another instance of police overreach. Though thankfully, unlike so many others who have died at the hands of police, he will live to tell the tale.
Kinsey told local Fox Station WSVN that his primary concern was his patient's safety, and he felt that with his hands raised, he would be able to assure the officers that neither he or the autistic man were a threat. "I was really more worried about [the patient] than myself, because as long as I’ve got 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."
The behavioral therapist claims that after being shot, officers patted him down and handcuffed him, leaving him on the ground bleeding as medical personnel arrived on the scene.