The North Miami Police Department has been under close-scrutiny and justified ridicule following the July 18th shooting of unarmed 47-year-old Behavioral Therapist, Charles Kinsey. Mr. Kinsey, an employee of MacTown Center for the Developmentally Disabled, was attempting to calm and lure one of the facility’s autistic clients back inside, when two members of the North Miami PD, Officer Jonathan Aledda and Commander Emile Holland, arrived on the scene after receiving a call describing an unknown suicidal man waving a gun in the streets. The incident, captured on video, depicts Mr. Kinsey lying on the ground next to the client with his hands in the air. Neither Mr. Kinsey nor the client appear to be threats, as Mr. Kinsey is seen lying on the ground with empty hands in the air, and the client is seated holding a toy truck. However, the explanation given for this shooting elevates this “WTF?!” moment.
Helmed by Police Chief, Gary Eugene, the North Miami Police Department’s press conference addressing this shooting was late and uninformative. Chief Eugene issued a statement that explained nothing, while refusing to answer any of the Press’ questions regarding the shooting or naming the officer who shot Mr. Kinsey. I didn’t think it could get any worse, until I saw the press conference held by the Florida Police Benevolent Association. The association’s President, John Rivera, made statements so ridiculous it was astonishing.
“In fearing for Mr. Kinsley’s life the officer discharged his firearm trying to save Mr. Kinsley’s life, and he missed and accidentally struck Mr. Kinsley. He thought the White male and his actions were such that he felt Mr. Kinsley’s life was in danger.”
Rivera went on to say:
“This wasn’t a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy, or he thought that Kinsley was the bad guy. This was a mistake in the sense that he knew or felt that Mr. Kinsley was the victim and was about to lose his life, and rather than to sit there and watch and do nothing, he attempted, he attempted to stop the White male…and accidentally shot Mr. Kinsley. What the officer didn’t know: What was the White individual’s intentions? He thought Mr. Kinsley was about to be killed. He actually was trying to save Mr. Kinsley, not trying to hurt him.”
When asked by a member of the Press: “So he was trying to shoot the gentleman who was sitting up with the toy, and he missed and he got Kinsley?”, Rivera responded: “What we later know as a toy, but what he thought was a firearm, yes sir, that is correct.”
“Mr. Kinsley was on the ground doing everything right, but he had his legs up, and the movement of the White individual looked like he was getting ready to discharge a firearm into Mr. Kinsley, and the officer discharged trying to strike and stop the White male, and unfortunately, uh, he-he missed the White male and shot Mr. Kinsley by accident.” – John Rivera, President of the FLPBA
First, given that you began this press conference with a plea that in this case everyone “allows facts to work through the system”, could you please get your facts straight, Mr. Rivera? The victim’s name is Charles Kinsey, which you repeatedly mispronounced as “Kinsley.” Second, the facility’s client isn’t “White”, he’s Latino. You repeatedly described him as “White” in an attempt to placate the Black community by characterizing Officer Aledda’s actions as an attempt to protect an innocent Black man from what he thought to be a “dangerous White man.” Don’t insult our intelligence. After Mr. Kinsey was shot he was promptly handcuffed, which doesn’t strike me as something one would do to someone they were trying to protect, but instead “accidentally” shot. Third, you should consider buying a dictionary so that you can familiarize yourself with the definition of the word “unfortunately“, because that word is not applicable here. Who in their right mind would refer to an unarmed autistic man not being erroneously gunned down as unfortunate?
Officer Aledda and Commander Holland were dispatched because there was supposedly an armed suicidal man in the streets. I’m confused as to why the method used to handle a possibly suicidal person wasn’t to try to obtain a mental health specialist. Why wasn’t the intention to prevent the man from committing suicide, instead of trying to send him to The Afterlife? That doesn’t make any sense. Officer Aledda fired his assault rifle three times, striking Mr. Kinsey once in the leg. Mr. Kinsey stated that when he asked Officer Aledda why he shot him, he responded: “I don’t know.” John Rivera’s ridiculous reasoning for Mr. Kinsey’s injury makes Officer Aledda appear as inept with a firearm as a Stormtrooper.
The North Miami Police Department is no stranger to scandal, and was heavily criticized just last year when Sergeant Valerie Deant discovered and revealed its police officers were using the mugshots of Black males as targets during target practice; one of the photos used was that of a 9-year-old boy.
Upon discovery that he not only relayed misinformation by stating the facility’s client appeared to be “loading a gun”, but also lied about his whereabouts during the incident, Commander Emile Holland has been suspended without pay. Meanwhile Officer Aledda has, of course, been placed on Paid Administrative Leave. Paid Administrative Leave for, apparently, shooting the wrong man.