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Florida Cops Protect Community From Black Man Lying On Back With Hands In Air
Nope nope nope nope nope
There are two really important things we want to know about Monday's shooting -- a nonfatal leg injury, thank Crom -- of Charles Kinsey, a therapist in North Miami, Florida. First off, what the hell will the cops (who do a very difficult dangerous job, yes) come up with to explain why they shot a black man lying on his back with his hands in the air? And secondly, what creative excuses will the Usual Suspects come up with to explain why Kinsey had it coming?
According to the Miami Herald, Kinsey was trying to calm down a 23-year-old autistic man who had left a mental health center and sat down in the street to play with a toy truck; police called to the scene shot Kinsey while the autistic man continued to play with the toy. The incident was captured on cellphone video, and for a pleasant change, we're not going to be looking at video of a death -- just the prelude to and aftermath of a wounding, so hooray for that (the person taking the video switched off their phone before the shooting, thinking the incident was over):
</div> <p>At the moment, it looks like cops shot before bothering to figure out they were dealing with a developmentally disabled person, because why would any department ever train officers to think about that? </p><p/><blockquote>[North Miami Assistant Police Chief Neal] Cuevas said officers received a 911 call indicating a man was in the street with a gun threatening to kill himself. They responded [...] and began barking orders. When the autistic man didn’t comply, an officer fired three times, striking Kinsey once in the leg. He was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital. <p>Cuevas said he didn’t know who the officer was aiming at when he struck Kinsey. The offier’s [sic] name hasn’t been released. </p><p>In a prepared statement, North Miami police spokeswoman Natalie Buissereth said “arriving officers attempted to negotiate with the two men on the scene, one of whom was later identified as suffering from autism... At some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon.”</p></blockquote> <p>Stuff happens, after all. The good news is that Kinsey wasn't badly wounded and was expected to be released from the hospital by Thursday. Kinsey's attorney, Hilton Napoleon, said Kinsey was immediately compliant with the officers' commands: </p><p/><blockquote>“He throws his hands up in the air and says, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ They say lie on the ground, so he does,” Kinsey’s attorney Hilton Napoleon said Wednesday. “He’s on his back with his hands in the air trying to convince the other guy to lie down. It doesn’t make any sense” [...] <p>The video, taken before the officer fired his weapon, shows Kinsey on his back with his hands in the air telling police he didn’t have a weapon and asking them not to fire. At one point the autistic man appears to yell at Kinsey to shut up.</p></blockquote> <p>Interviewed in the hospital by <a href="http://wsvn.com/news/local/video-shows-moments-before-north-miami-police-shot-unarmed-man/">WSVN TV,</a> Kinsey said, </p><p/><blockquote>“When I went to the ground, I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up ... 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.” [...] <p>The ordeal went on for a few minutes before Kinsey said one of the officers shot him. “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.'”</p></blockquote> <p>That's the sort of thing you might think a police officer would have a better answer for, but we suppose he was pretty shook up after shooting a guy for no good reason. To future deleted commenters: Yes, fine, the autistic man was upset and yelling, and noncompliant. But Kinsey was trying to explain to the cops why the man wasn't complying. We don't shoot people for that. The guy didn't lunge at the cops or even get up. </p><p>U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was <a href="http://wsvn.com/news/local/video-shows-moments-before-north-miami-police-shot-unarmed-man/" target="_blank">asked at a press conference</a> Wednesday whether she believed better training in dealing with mental health issues might have helped the situation, and said </p><p/><blockquote>We have to pray that it would have. That’s the only solution I have. As I stand here, when you shoot a man lying on the ground with his hands up explaining to you the situation -- and you shoot him anyway -- something is not right with that picture, so we, as a district, are in shock.</blockquote> <p>Kinsey explained to WSVN he was more worried about the patient than himself: </p><p/><blockquote>I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking, they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong.</blockquote> <p>Napoleon, the attorney, said he was already working on a possible settlement with the city: </p><p/><blockquote>“They realize this was something inappropriate regarding the shooting,” he said. “If police departments come out more and admit fault, that would probably go a long way,” toward improving relations with the public, he said.</blockquote> <p>We're looking forward to the inevitable Law N Order types to pop up and explain that all we need to do is tell people with intellectual/mental disabilities that they need to follow cops' orders if they want to avoid being shot. </p><p>[<a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article90905442.html" target="_blank">Miami Herald</a> via <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/florida-police-shoot-autistic-man-black-caretaker" target="_blank">TPM</a> / <a href="http://wsvn.com/news/local/video-shows-moments-before-north-miami-police-shot-unarmed-man/" target="_blank">WSVN</a> / <a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_POLICE_SHOOTING_FLORIDA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT" target="_blank">AP</a>]</p>