Florida Cop Who Shot Autistic Man’s Black Caretaker Acquitted Of Felony Manslaughter Charges
In July 2016, North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda fired three rounds and shot Charles Kinsey after standoff with him and 23-year-old autistic patient Arnaldo Rios Soto.
June 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm
Nearly three years after shooting unarmed therapist and caretaker Charles Kinsey, North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda was acquitted of attempted manslaughter by a Florida jury on Monday night.
In July 2016, Kinsey was a group home caretaker for then-23-year-old Arnaldo Rios Soto, who was severely autistic and required 24-hour attention, according to court documents. On the afternoon of July 18, after Soto left the North Miami group home, Kinsey began searching for him as police received a call from a driver reporting a man matching Soto’s description walking around with what appeared to be a gun.
Aledda responded to the call, and as Kinsey—who was laying on the street with his hands up— complied with the officer’s instructions alongside Soto, the officer shot the Floridian caretaker. The incident which was captured on cellphone video quickly swept across social media, ensuing outrage amongst many.
“I made it so clear to these officers. I made it clear. I mean, I’m at the height of my lungs, to where I was hoarse when I got finished,” Kinsey says in a panel discussion hosted by actress Holly Robinson-Peete. “It got to the point to where I just gave up.”
During the first trial in March 2019, the officer testified that he thought Soto was going to shoot because he aimed the object — which turned out to be a toy truck — at Kinsey, HuffPost reports. Declared a mistrial, the jury found him not guilty on culpable negligence.
After three hours of deliberation, a Florida jury concluded on Monday night that while Aledda was guilty of a misdemeanor for negligent action, the officer should not be convicted of the more serious attempted manslaughter felony charges.
“We thought he should have never been charged to begin with,” Aledda’s attorney Douglas Hartman told NBC 6.
On Tuesday, the North Miami Police Department said it intends to fire Aledda and has put him on administrative leave without pay. He faces up to one year in prison.