Miami Police Once Shot an Unarmed Black Man Who Had His Hands Up

Charles Kinsey, African American therapist shot by Miami police with hands up

In July 2016, 47-year old Charles Kinsey, an African American behavioral therapist from Miami, Florida, was shot and nearly killed by an officer while holding his hands in the air and complying with the police. He was even lying on the ground.
It all started when the North Miami Police Department received a call about a possibly armed man. It was 23-year old autistic patient Rinaldo who had run away from an assisted living facility, the same one where Kinsey worked.

By the time the police had arrived to the scene, Kinsey had also arrived and as his caretaker was trying to convince Rinaldo to come back to the group home. However, police immediately drew their guns, and aggressively instructed both men to put their hands in the air. When Rinaldo did not raise his hands, they began falsely assuming that Rinaldo was holding a weapon.

As can be seen on video, Kinsey had both hands up in the air the entire time while trying to clear up the situation with the police. "All he has is a toy truck in his hand, a toy truck," he said. Then he explained, "I am a behavior therapist at a group home."

Kinsey even tried to calm his patient. "Please be still, Rinaldo, sit down Rinaldo, lay on your stomach Rinaldo," Kinsey told him.

At one point, while Kinsey's hands were still in the air, one of the officers shot at Kinsey three times and one of the shots him in the leg. Fortunately, he wasn't killed and later told reporters from his hospital bed what happened. He reiterated that he kept telling the officer that there was no need to fire his weapon because he was unarmed.

After being shot, Kinsey even asked the officer why he shot him, and the officer reportedly responded, "I don't know."

Fortunately, Kinsey made a full recovery. The North Miami Police Department, however, did place the officer who shot him on administrative leave while the Local State attorneys office conducted an investigation. Eventually, that officer was convicted with a misdemeanor, but later acquitted of attempted murder.