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Video Shows Caregiver's Hands Up Before He's Shot by Police

Charles Kinsey, a caregiver at a nearby group home for mentally disabled adults, was trying to calm an autistic patient when police shot him in the leg

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cell phone videos showing the moments before and after a man was shot by a North Miami Police officer were released Wednesday. (Published Thursday, July 21, 2016)

    Cell phone video released Wednesday shows the moments before and after a black South Florida caregiver laying on his back with his hands in the air was shot by a North Miami Police officer, as he was trying to calm an autistic patient.

    One day after the video gained national attention, the North Miami Police Department addressed the media for the first time Thursday.

    Chief Gary Eugene did not take questions, but issued a statement saying the shooting was being investigated and vowing to find out what took place.

    "We as a city, and as a member of this police department have questions," Eugene said. "I assure you we will get all the answers."

    RAW: Video Shows Man With Hands Up Before Shot by Police

    [MI-NATL] RAW: Video Shows Moments Before Man Shot by North Miami Police Officer
    WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. This cellphone video shows the moments before a South Florida caregiver was shot by a North Miami Police officer as he was trying to calm an autistic patient. Charles Kinsey was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his leg. His attorney, Hilton Napoleon, said Kinsey was unarmed. Police said the officer has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy. (Published Thursday, July 21, 2016)

    The video shows part of the Monday encounter that left Charles Kinsey, a caregiver at a nearby group home for mentally disabled adults, hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his leg.

    Around 5 p.m. Monday, Kinsey found one of the residents, who is severely autistic, sitting in the middle of the street, holding a toy truck.

    The video shows Kinsey, laying on the street and holding his hands in the air, begging the autistic man next to him to be still and lay down. He also tells police officers at the scene that he's unarmed, according to the video, which was shot by a witness and released by Kinsey's attorney.

    "Rinaldo please be still, sit down, lay on your stomach Rinaldo," Kinsey says. The man is heard yelling at Kinsey to "shut up."

    The video shows two officers standing behind light poles several yards away, their guns drawn. It lasted for 3-4 minutes, then Kinsey was shot in the leg.

    "My client asked why did you shoot me? The officer told my client, 'I don't know,' that was his words verbatim," attorney Hilton Napoleon told NBC 6. "Another officer asked, 'Why did you shoot this guy?' and the shooting officer said he didn't know why he shot him."

    At a news conference Thursday, Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera said the officer opened fire on the autistic man because he thought the autistic man was armed and about to shoot Kinsey, but the officer accidentally hit Kinsey.

    "This is not a case of a rogue cop, this is not a case of police abuse, this is a case where a police officer was trying to save Mr. Kinsey's life and unfortunately his shot went astray," Rivera said.

    Caregiver Shot by Police While Calming Autistic Patient

    [NATL-MI] Caregiver Shot by Police While Calming Autistic Patient
    A new video has people asking why North Miami police shot a man who was working with an autistic man. NBC 6's Michael Spears has the story. (Published Thursday, July 21, 2016)

    The shooting comes amid national outrage over the fatal shootings of two black men earlier this month and heightened tensions following the recent killing of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  

    Police said officers responded to the scene after they received a 911 call of an armed man threatening suicide. Officers tried to "negotiate" with the two men and at one point, an officer fired, police said in a statement.

    "There is no justification, heightened alert or not, to shoot an unarmed man laying on the ground with his hands in the air who is telling you that no one has a gun and the person here is autistic," Napoleon said.

    The second piece of video shows Kinsey in the road after he was hit in the leg with a bullet. His attorney said officers handcuffed him and left him there until paramedics arrived.

    Clint Bower told NBC 6 his employee, who's in his 40s "somehow" got shot. 

    "The individual who lives here was walking down the street with a toy in his hand, someone called the police saying someone had a weapon, that's all we know," Bower said. "He's an unarmed person who got shot doing his job."

    A community group called the Circle of Brotherhood that Kinsey volunteers with said they are alarmed this could happen again.

    "We believe a criminal offense has taken place by a police officer, and that the days of double standards are over," said Lyle Muhammad, who is in the group. "This office and department has an opportunity and deserve time to do the right thing by this case."

    The identity of the officer is unknown but police said he's a 30-year-old Hispanic man who has been with the department for four years. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy.

    Kinsey remains hospitalized but he could be released as soon as Thursday. No officers were injured.

    The office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez released a statement, saying the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the case and would turn over their findings once it was complete.

    North Miami Police did not respond to requests for more information about the shooting, including whether a weapon was found at the scene.

    Bower said neither man carried a gun.

    "It wasn't a weapon, it was a toy truck, he likes to hold toys in his hand. If you go in his room he's got toys all on his windowsill," Bower said.

    At Thursday's news conference, U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson was visibly upset when she stepped to the microphone.

    "North Miami is where the police officers and the community gel," Wilson said. "The video is like a nightmare.”

    "We love the police, we’re pro-police, but today I’m in total shock of what I saw," she said.