The police shooting of an African-American caregiver, who was lying in the street trying to help an autism patient, was accidental, according to the local police union representing the North Miami officer.
The officer had intended to shoot the patient, whom he thought posed a danger, but accidentally shot the caregiver instead, said John Rivera, the President of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association.
Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was shot Monday by police -- an incident which has sparked outrage. Footage released by Kinsey's attorney showed his client lying on the ground holding both hands in the air, next to a 23-year-old man with autism.
Rivera offered an explanation Thursday, saying that the police officer opened fire because he thought the white individual, whom they later learned is a man with autism, was going to harm Kinsey.
"This wasn't a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy or he thought that Kinsey was the bad guy," he said in a press conference Thursday.
Mr. Kinsey, that black caregiver who was shot, had this to say:
Kinsey told WSVN that his patient was holding a toy truck, not a firearm. He said he tried to explain the situation to officers.
Cell phone footage showed Kinsey lying in the street with his hands in the air.
"All he has is a toy truck," he shouted. "I am a behavior therapist at a group home."
After shooting him the cops rolled him over and placed handcuffs on him.
At this point I do not even care which one of the two people the officer was firing at, because to shoot at either one of them is completely indefensible.
Look I work with clients very much like this young man with the truck, and I can tell you that they would be almost completely unable to comply with shouted requests coming from the police.
And the more upset they got the more likely it would be that their actions appeared out of control and possibly aggressive.
Police need to have significant training in how to deal with people with disabilities or who are suffering with a mental illness or deficiency.
There is a way to calm them down and often gain their compliance, but I can guarantee it will not happen with guns drawn.
On the other hand I would like to suggest that this Mr. Kinsey be given a fucking raise and perhaps receive some kind of award or something, because that is a dedicated professional, and deserves all the recognition that he can get.