Police identify Florida officer who they say shot unarmed therapist
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. — Police have named the officer who shot an unarmed African-American man lying in the street with his arms in the air earlier this week.
North Miami City Manager Larry Spring Jr. said on Friday the officer is Jonathan Aledda, said at a press conference. Aledda has been with the North Miami Police Department for four years, but has now been placed on administrative leave per department policy. According to the North Miami Police Department website, Aledda was the “officer of the month” in October 2014.
Emile Hollant, a second officer, has also been placed on administrative leave without pay after giving conflicting statements to investigators, Spring said.
The shooting occurred when police responded to reports that a man was threatening to commit suicide. The 911 callers said he had a gun pointed at his head.
When officers arrived they found the 23-year-old man, who has autism, and his therapist, Charles Kinsey. Kinsey, who works at a group home, was apparently trying to calm down his patient.
North Miami Police said on Thursday that one of the department’s officers, now known to be Jonathan Aledda, shot Kinsey while he was on the ground with his arms up. Police also said that Aledda had been aiming at the man who had autism, but missed.
Kinsey has publicly stated that his patient did not have gun, but rather just a toy truck.
His lawyer also released cellphone video taken moments before the shooting. It shows Charles Kinsey, who is black, holding both hands high in the air as another man sits on the ground next to him, rocking back and forth.
You also hear Kinsey shout to the officers, while his hands were raised, “All he has is a toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Kinsey was hit in his right leg after two or three shots were fired, according to his attorney. He was shocked by the shooting, so he asked the officer, “Sir, why did you shoot me?” Kinsey said the officer responded, “I don’t know.”
With additional reporting from CNN.