[Breaking news alert, posted at 12:11 p.m. Thursday]
North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene declined to release details Thursday about the officer who shot Charles Kinsey, referring questions to state authorities who have taken over the investigation. “I realize there may be questions about what happened on Monday night. You have questions. The community has questions. … I, personally, have questions. I assure you, we’ll get all the answers,” Eugene said. Kinsey told CNN affiliate WSVN that an officer shot him while he was lying on the ground with his hands in the air.
A U.S. congresswoman who represents the city told reporters she was shocked by the video that shows the scene before the shooting.
“This is like a nightmare to me,” U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson said.
“When you shoot a man lying on the ground with his hands up, explaining to you the situation, and you shoot him anyway? Something’s not right with this picture,” she said.
[Previous story, posted at 11:45 a.m. Thursday]
The video shows a man lying in the street, holding his hands in the air.
“All he has is a toy truck,” the man shouts. “I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Charles Kinsey said the video, released by his attorney, shows the moment Monday when he tried to convince North Miami police not to harm his patient, a 23-year-old with autism who was sitting on the ground beside him.
“I was more worried about him than myself,” Kinsey told CNN affiliate WSVN-TV in Miami.
“As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not gonna shoot me, that’s what I’m thinking,” Kinsey said. “Wow, was I wrong.”
Now Kinsey is hospitalized with a gunshot wound.
North Miami police said an officer opened fire after attempting to negotiate. Kinsey and his attorney said that explanation doesn’t add up. State authorities say they’re investigating.
Police: Caller reported armed man
North Miami police said in a statement that a report of an armed man threatening suicide drew them to the scene.
Kinsey said he tried to explain that his patient was holding a toy truck, not a firearm. He then asked his patient to be still and lie down.
Cell phone video released by Kinsey’s attorney shows part of that exchange.
“Please be still … get down … lay on your stomach,” Kinsey says in the video.
The man beside him rocks back and forth.
Another video released by the attorney shows a different perspective of the scene. In that video, Kinsey is lying in the road, on his stomach and handcuffed.
So far, attorney Hilton Napoleon II said, video of the shooting itself hasn’t surfaced.
Reports of the North Miami shooting drew swift reactions on social media, with posts criticizing the officer who opened fire.
Kinsey’s shooting comes after a pair of officer-involved shootings led to the death of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, kicking off a period of national unrest and putting the spotlight again on police use of force, particularly against black men.
Eight law enforcement officers have since been killed in separate incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, targeted by gunmen who claimed they were reacting in part to incidents such as those that led to the deaths of Sterling and Castile.
‘Why did you shoot me?’
North Miami police said in a statement that they are investigating this week’s shooting, asking potential witnesses to come forward with any photos or video they may have.
The officers who arrived “attempted to negotiate with the two men on the scene.”
At some point, one of the officers discharged his weapon, authorities said. That officer has been placed on administrative leave, as is the standard procedure.
Kinsey said he was surprised, like when a mosquito bites unexpectedly.
“When he hit me, I’m like, I still got my hands in the air,” he said.
“I’m like, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ ” Kinsey said he asked the officer.
“He said to me, ‘I don’t know.’ “
The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office is assisting with the investigation, police said.
‘He did everything he was supposed to do’
Kinsey was shot in his right leg after officers fired two or three shots, according to Napoleon.
After the shooting, Kinsey told WSVN he was flipped over and handcuffed.
According to Napoleon, Kinsey was on the ground for 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived.
A hospital spokeswoman said Kinsey is in good condition.
“Physically he will recover but mentally he felt like he did everything he could possibly do and that wasn’t good enough,” Napoleon said.
“You can’t shoot unarmed people period.”