New evidence reveals that a Miami police officer that shot a behavioral therapist last year knew that the latter was unarmed.
On July 18, 2016, North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda, fired three shots at behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey, who was caring an autistic patient who was playing with a toy truck. In a cell phone video taken at the scene, Kinsey can be seen complying with Aledda as he threw his hands up in the air and begged the cop not to shoot, although he still ended up firing a shot at Kinsey.
Following the incident, the police department defended Aledda’s actions saying that the officer thought the autistic man with Kinsey had a gun and not a toy truck. But a new hour-long recording obtained by the Miami New Times shows that the cop knew all along that Kinsey was unarmed.
The recording features North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene, who reveals that after the shooting he was lied to by an assistant chief, and that city manager Larry Spring ignored integral evidence related to the shooting.
“The scene was a mess, to be honest with you,” Eugene explains to investigators. “People are walking all over the place. Thank God (Kinsey) did not die.” Eugene then discusses the audio of the police radio right before the shooting occurred. “I heard the shooter, Officer Aledda, make a statement to the nature of, ‘Be advised, I have a clear shot. Later on, a sergeant got on the air and said, ‘I have a visual, it is a toy. Is it a toy?’” Eugene continues, “that means stand by, don’t do anything…The next transmission was by another officer saying ‘shot fired!’”
Most of Eugene’s interview was centered around North Miami police commander Emile Hollant, who was present at the shooting. Hollant was suspended without pay following the incident after he allegedly gave contradictory statements to investigators and command staff officers about the shooting.
As for Aledda, he has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. Kinsey has filed a lawsuit claiming Aledda violated his constitutional rights when he shot him.