North Miami Therapist Files Lawsuit Against Officer Who Shot Him

By Chika Dunu, Epoch Times
August 5, 2016 Updated: August 5, 2016

The unarmed black behavioral technician who was shot by a North Miami police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the officer.

An unnamed witness captured a video showing Charles Kinsey, who was laying on his back with his arms raised. He said he was trying to calm an autistic patient.

He filed a lawsuit on Aug. 3 against officer Jonathan Aledda in federal court for violating his civil rights, excessive force, and wrongful arrest. 

“Officer Aledda violated Mr. Kinsey’s clearly established Fourth Amendment right to be free from excessive force during police seizures when he shot Mr. Kinsey in the leg,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida, reads

The lawsuit recounts the events that led up to the controversial shooting on July 18. 

Kinsey was with an autistic patient, 26-year-old Arnaldo Rios, at an intersection in North Miami, Florida, when officers arrived after a 911 call from a passerby. Kinsey had been persuading Rios, who was holding a toy truck, to return to the Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled, where he is a patient, according to the lawsuit.

According to Kinsey, the responding officers drew their weapons in a hasty manner. “Several officers, including Officer Aledda, immediately retrieved assault rifles from the trunks of their cars and approached Mr. Kinsey in a military-style formation,” the complaint reads.

As seen in cell phone video footage and recounted in the lawsuit, a supine Kinsey pleaded with officers to not shoot him and reiterated several times that both he and Rios were unarmed. He also told the officers that Rios was in possession of a toy truck, the suit says.

Aledda fired his weapon three times, hitting Kinsey once in the leg. Rios was unharmed. According to Dade County Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera, Aledda had intended to shoot Rios

The lawsuit contends that both Kinsey and Rios didn’t pose a threat to any of the officers nor was there a valid reason for Aledda to fire his weapon. 

“All officers, including Officer Aledda, were close enough in proximity to hear Mr. Kinsey’s statements, and one officer even announced over the police radio, ‘It’s a toy truck, he’s saying it’s a toy truck,” the lawsuit reads. “Furthermore, it was clear from Officer Aledda’s vantage-point that Mr. Rios was holding a toy truck and that Mr. Kinsey’s hands were in the air.”

According to Kinsey, Aledda didn’t “render aid” to his gunshot wound and left him in the hot sun until an ambulance arrived much later.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages and other fees for emotional, mental, and physical distress.

The Miami Herald reported that Aledda was placed on paid administrative leave.