Cop Who Shot Black Florida Therapist Protecting Autistic Patient Goes To Trial
"I’m going in with an open mind and hoping for the best," said victim Charles Kinsey.
February 26, 2019 at 12:40 am
Jury selection has begun for the trial of North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda, 32, who is accused of illegally shooting a therapist tending to his autistic patient.
Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was wounded by Aledda while caring for his autistic patient, Arnaldo Rios, in 2016, as Blavity reported.
The Miami Herald reports the trial will be the first time an on-duty police officer in Miami-Dade County has been tried for a shooting in 30 years. The last one, in 1989, ended in a conviction; however, it was later overturned.
"I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to expect,” Kinsey told the Herald. “I still ask myself ‘Why?’ Why did this have to happen? Why me? I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
The therapist said he's trying to remain optimistic, however.
“In the last month, it’s really bothered me," Kinsey continued. "I guess, maybe, because the case is coming up. I’m going in with an open mind and hoping for the best.”
Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.
The shooting occurred after several calls came in to 911 about someone with a gun.
Rios, who was 26 at the time, had wandered off from the Mactown Group Home where Kinsey worked and sat in the middle of the road playing with his silver toy truck. The toy was mistaken for a weapon by onlookers.
According to the official investigation into the shooting, several officers on the scene were aware Rios had a toy truck rather than a weapon and stood 20 feet away from Rios, unafraid.
Kinsey, who can be seen on his back with his hands up in video footage of the standoff, says he was trying to explain to the officers that his patient had autism and would not hurt anyone.
Aledda, who was reportedly over 150 feet away from Kinsey and Rios, fired three shots from his M4 carbine. He struck Kinsey in the thigh once. Rios was not hit.
Miami prosecutors charged Aledda with two counts of felony attempted manslaughter and two counts of culpable negligence. Aledda, a trained SWAT team member and police officer of four years, pleaded not guilty. He says he perceived Rios to be a threat to himself and others and claims he acted in self-defense.
Aledda was placed on desk duty following the incident; Kinsey has fully recovered from the wound he sustained during the shooting.
Kinsey and the family of Arnaldo Rios are suing Aledda and North Miami for the potentially deadly use of force.
Now, check these out: