Watch: Florida Police Shoot Therapist Charles Kinsey While Laying on His Back With His Hands Up

Watch: Florida Police Shoot Therapist Charles Kinsey While Laying on His Back With His Hands Up

Thankfully he lived to tell his story.

Published July 21, 2016

It’s a new day, which means it’s time to write about yet another unarmed Black man shot by the police. This is the sad truth that has overtaken our country. This time, it was behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey who was shot by North Miami Police. However, this story differs from most because Kinsey lived to tell his side of the story. 

The day began when a 23-year-old patient of Kinsey’s wandered out of a mental health facility carrying a toy truck. Kinsey, 47, ran after his patient. At this point, police received a call that a man was walking around with a gun threatening suicide.

When police arrived on the scene, Kinsey knew exactly what he needed to do in order for the police to realize he was not a threat. Kinsey lowered himself to the ground and laid on his back with his hands straight up in the air.

A cellphone video captured Kinsey as he told officers, “All he has is a toy truck in his hand, a toy truck, I’m a behavior therapist at a group home.” He also started to instruct his patient to remain calm. “Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach,” Kinsey said.

Although Kinsey remained in a non-threatening position and explained the situation to the best of his ability, a police officer still shot him in the leg three times.

“I’m like this right here, and when he shot me, it was so surprising,” Kinsey said. “It was like a mosquito bite, and when it hit me, I’m like, ‘I still got my hands in the air, and I said, ‘No I just got shot! And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know.'”

"I don’t know." That’s why the officer told him he critically injured him. "I don’t know."

Next, Kinsey says he was handcuffed and turned over onto his stomach with his face in the concrete, still bleeding from his leg. The moment of the shooting was not captured on the video; however, Kinsey’s community and his lawyer are demanding answers.

“There’s no justification for shooting an unarmed person who’s talking to you and telling you that they don’t have a gun, and that they’re a mental health counselor,” Hilton Napoleon, Kinsey’s lawyer, said.

Despite all of this tragedy, Kinsey is just happy that he lived to tell his story.

And now we wait to see how the rest of the nation will respond to this one. No more we don’t know if he had a gun, or we don’t know everything that happened. It’s time for everyone to look at the situation at hand and finally admit, yes this is a problem.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: WSVN 7 News Miami)


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