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Charles Kinsey: Phone video shows moments before North Miami police shoot unarmed caretaker

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Posted at 1:03 AM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 12:21:50-04

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - A behavior therapist who works with people with disabilities is lucky to be alive.

Video shot on a bystander’s phone, first obtained Wednesday by WSVN, shows Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air as he attempts to corral an autistic adult man who lives at the group home in which he works.

In the video, Kinsey clearly tells officers that he nor the man have weapons. A 911 caller told dispatchers that the man had a gun and was attempting to commit suicide. In fact, all the man had was a toy truck.

“When I went to the ground, I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up,” Kinsey told WSVN. “And I am laying down here just like this, and I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand.”

Kinsey spoke to the Miami news station Wednesday from his hospital bed where he said he was simply attempting to calm the autistic patient down.

The man apparently ran away from the group home. Kinsey is also clearly heard in the video clip telling police that he is a behavior therapist at a group home.

Kinsey also pleads with the man in the video to calm down and obey orders from police.

“Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down, Rinaldo. Lay on your stomach,” Kinsey desperately pleads in the video.

That’s when Kinsey says the situation took a surprising and unfortunate turn.

“I was really more worried about him than myself,” he told WSVN. “I was thinking as long as I have my hands up, they’re not going to shoot me… Wow, was I wrong.”

Kinsey was shot by a North Miami Police Department officer in the leg.

“I’m like this right here (with hands in the air), 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.'”

After being shot in the leg, Kinsey says police rushed in on him, placed him and the other man in handcuffs.

He says he laid face down on the ground for about 20 minutes waiting on EMS to arrive. “They flipped me over, and I’m faced down in the ground, with cuffs on, waiting on the rescue squad to come… And I was like, bleeding  — I mean bleeding and I was like, ‘Wow.'”

North Miami police have not released the officer’s name but say the investigation is ongoing. They also confirm the county State Attorney’s office is investigating the shooting, according to WSVN.

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