Therapist Sues Cop Who Shot Him While His Hands Were Raised

Ashley Harrell | Courthouse News Service

The unarmed black therapist who was lying on his back with his hands raised when he was shot by a South Florida police officer is suing the officer in federal court.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in Miami, Charles Kinsey claims North Miami SWAT Officer Aledda violated his civil rights, used excessive force and then carried out a false arrest during the July 18 incident.

Kinsey was shot while he was trying to assist Arnold Rios, a 26-year-old autistic patient who had been walking around North Miami streets carrying a white toy truck.

Kinsey’s shooting sparked outrage and fueled racial tension in a country already divided over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, coupled with lethal attacks on police in Texas and Louisiana.

Kinsey insist Aledda had no reason whatsoever to shoot him, wrongly arrested him — again without cause — and failed to render aid, instead leaving a man he knew he wounded bleeding in the hot Florida sun, and cuffing one of his wrists so tightly that the circulation was cut off.

“As a result of Officer Aledda’s actions, Mr. Kinsey is unable to engage in certain physical activities, and has suffered damages, including but not limited to, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress,” the complaint says.

The events were set in motion with a 911 call to police from a passerby, who erroneously described the scene on the corner of NE 127th St. and NE 14th Ave. in North Miami.

“There’s this guy in the middle of the road, and he has what appears to be a gun,” a woman says in a recording released by police. “He has it to his head, and there’s a guy there trying to talk him out of it.”

The woman goes on to describe the men as a Spanish guy in gray pants and a black guy in a green shirt and black shorts. She explains that the Spanish guy looks like a mentally ill person and that black guy is attempting to help. Eventually, the caller questions whether a gun is present. “I don’t know if it’s a gun. But he has something the shape of a gun, so just be careful,” she says. “He’s sitting in the middle of the road.”

According to the lawsuit, police arrived on the scene, took assault rifles out of their trunks, and approached Kinsey and Rios in a military formation. Kinsey raised his hands in the air, told the officers that he and Rios were unarmed, and pleaded with them not to shoot, according to both the lawsuit and a widely circulated cell phone video of the incident.

The officers yelled to Kinsey, “Get down on the ground!” and he complied, laying flat with his hands in the air. He explained that he was a behavioral technician at a nearby group home and that Rios was his patient, a man with autism. Kinsey told the officers that no one was armed and that Rios was holding a toy truck.

“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 complaint states.

For five minutes Kinsey complied with police and tried to explain the situation. But suddenly, without warning, Aledda fired three shots from his AR-15 assault rifle at Kinsey and struck him in the leg. Kinsey later told WSVN that the shooting came as a shock and felt like a mosquito bite. “As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not gonna shoot me, that’s what I was thinking,” he said. “Wow, was I wrong.”

Dade Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera attempted to explain Aledda’s actions at a news conference, stating that the shooting was an accident and that the officer feared for Kinsey’s life. He had intended to hit the autistic “white” man, Rivera said. What he couldn’t explain was how after the shooting, officers placed Kinsey in facedown in handcuffs for 20 minutes while he bled.

“We don’t know the answers to all the questions,” Rivera said in a phone interview with Courthouse News Service. “We welcome an investigation … we just hope that everybody deals with facts, not sensationalism.”

Kinsey says that after he was shot, he asked to be moved from the hot pavement into a shaded area, and he asked for water, but the officers ignored his requests.


“Officer Aledda also failed to render aid after shooting Mr. Kinsey,” the suit says. “He did not place pressure on Mr. Kinsey’s wound or offer Mr. Kinsey a bandage.”

Kinsey seeks unspecified damages.

He is represented by Hilton Napoleon of Rasco, Klock, Perez, Nieto in Coral Gables, Florida.

The police union and Aledda’s attorney were not immediately available for comment Friday.

Published by Courthouse News Service.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3660 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Michael David

    I would contribute to his legal costs if a verified link could be posted

    • John

      No need, legal fees will be tacked on to the hefty settlement this gentleman is about to receive.

  • Rod

    No mention that when Kinsey asked tge cop “Why did you shoot me?” The cop responded, ” I dont know.”

    • IzDaTroofz

      haha yeah that should make the case easy. Itchy finger pig

  • Larry Capponi

    Fkn low IQ losers are mostly hired to be cops …. These idiots need 3 year apprenticeship before they receive guns or are out on their own

    • Hollydsauls

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  • piggypiggy

    Time for ex-military to be banned from civilian police work.

    • greatguy999

      You obviously don’t know a thing about the military guys. They are far more self-controlled than these trigger-happy cops. If the cop were ex-military he would not have shot the man. I would rather deal with an ex-military guy than these cops who are too scared to even think.

      • DannyEastVillage

        you are dead right.

      • Aleksander Bozek

        dude, really? and you go by greatguy? Of all the ill-informed comments on this website yours cuts the cake. MANY current police officers are veterans of the 2nd golf war. Don’t assume, teach yourself. A majority of my veteran friends ADMIT they have the bloodlust and joined the ””’war on terror””’ strictly to kill. Please know what the fuck you’re writing about before you get an idea into one of our overly impressionable youths’ head.

        • greatguy999

          Absolute nonsense. Wanting to fight terror is not the same as shooting a guy who poses no threat and whose hands are clearly visible in the air. If you’ve been anywhere near our military boys you’d quickly realize that they exhibit far more self control in their professional lives than these wannabe cowards who only shoot innocent and unarmed civilians.

          • Aleksander Bozek

            I’ll agree with you that there is an epidemic of cowards joining the boys in blue and painting them in a terrible fashion. And I’ll also extend an olive branch and say as a first generation American our situation sickens me. But to insinuate that they have next to no military training is far fetched. Our peace officers are trained to lie to the citizenry. It’s isnt the individual who’s broken it is the system brotherman. The businesses who hire the mercenaries we identify as the police are far more corrupt than we can fathom.

          • Aleksander Bozek

            I didnt intend to come off as a dickhead with my first reply but with this whole internet thing we never know who’s a troll and who’s actually down to have a civil debate. Thank you for responding in a non-scathing manner.

          • Jay Matt

            What the hell is a fist generation american? Type of bullshit is that

        • santa

          Soooo,you knew they had mental issues and said nothing till now?smh.

      • Ruth Banks

        That’s what I’m thinking that the cops needs to stand down and n the military need to stand in

    • Cliff

      It’s the wannabe military guys who couldn’t cut it in the real military that become cops. Hence the trigger happy psychos we keep getting stories about.

    • Derek Derailled

      You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. Our military personal, even at their least, has more training and discipline than any of these trigger happy neanderthals at their best. What we need is for ex and current military to stand up with us so we will have the power to overthrow a tyrannical farce we call our government and start fresh.

  • Alan Thompson

    I support the police but in this case the police were in the Wrong. I hope he gets millions.

    • Morgan Morris

      My problem is he’s getting Millions isn’t going to do anything to fix problem. The cop isn’t going to be paying any of that money. You and I will. That’s not going to do anything to change the police. Because they are not being punished. The taxpayers are.

      • Seth

        I still think he deserves it

      • kenzie

        I’m with dude, he still deserves it. If the tax payers have a problem with it maybe that’ll be enough to get tax payers to realize this problem affects them even if they don’t think so and that they should be proactively involved in stopping this problem of law enforcement going way overboard, of racism, and of stupidity and apathy. Tax payers are getting what they deserve for sitting back and thinking because they are not a part of the problem, this doesn’t affect them so they can get away with not being a part of the solution.

      • Leslie Braun

        Actually the article said he’s suing the cop personally, not through the department, which would mean it would be coming directly from the cops own insurance or pocket.

      • Barry Bun

        Wrong. Here’s how it works… the city gets sued. That money has to come from someplace – yes, the citizens ultimately. But the city has to rob ‘Peter to pay Paul’ if it doesn’t have enough in its coffers for a multi million dollar lawsuit .
        Citizens don’t like reduced services that their taxes paid for, so they demand officers get better training. The police chief knows this or HE will lose HIS job. And the Mayor will replace the Chief, or he won’t get re-elected as Mayor.
        Coughing up enough money is an effective motivator.

  • REALConservative

    “I didn’t mean to shoot you, I don’t know why I shot you, but now I’m going to put you in handcuffs.”

    I like how all the good cops are protesting this idiot cop who is making them all look bad.

    • eyezee

      They are either racists or MORONS because if you shoot someone for no reason, you say “I don’t know [why I shot you]” and then proceed to place him in handcuffs, you either intended to kill the unarmed black guy or you are a moron with no idea how to handle an emergency medical situation of your own doing. This cop also had previous greviences for excessive force against minorities and needs to be fired then prosecuted

      • Addiemhunter2

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  • Mr Trainbeans

    Horse feathers. Cops put their lives on the line every day, including “bad” ones. Even the “worst” cop is better than the criminal scum who are just waiting for their chance to murder, rob and rape your family. Too bad that this “therapist” suffered some inconvenience (what’s with his street clothes in the video anyway? doesn’t look like any sort of professional to me) but our law enforcement heroes are at the end of the day a war between good+evil, between right+wrong. People get hurt in wars. Wars are only fought because there is no other option. and those who are fighting on the good side cannot live in fear of their lives+livelihoods just for making a mistake.

    • Zino

      I hope this is a post of sarcasm…

    • Mike Moffat

      That’s the problem, here. There were NO criminals involved in this particular situation, yet somebody still got shot. When this cop ‘made a mistake’, he did so with deadly force that put many people around him in danger. Yes, there should be repercussions from his mistake, and the repercussions should be commensurate with the level of his ‘mistake’. I’m curious to know why the officer that fired his weapon wasn’t arrested. When asked why he shot another human being, his response was ‘I don’t know’. Had someone who WAS NOT wearing a uniform at the time taken that action and given that response, they would have been immediate put under arrest.

      • Majortcae

        The Weapons hey use have a 3 round burst function in addition to the normal semiauto capability. The idiot most likely was in burst mode instead of single round; with his idiot finger on the trigger. The idiots who support him will find a way to spin it to be the victim’s fault. The sycophant idiots will wet their pants to try and praise the shooter. The real men with badges should drop the gang mentality and correct these problems before it ever gets to this level. It does take courage to stand up against your group when it is wrong .See4ms fewer have what it takes every day.

      • Adam Torrens

        Put under arrest? ….Please if anyone else did that they would have more holes in them than a cheese grater. Instantly.

    • tony smith

      Heros?? You good sir are retarded and I hope your not off your meds. Now put your hockey helmet on and your oven mitts, we don’t want you hurting yourself.

    • Tothe

      Absolutely none of your post makes any sense. Congratulations. I didn’t think it was possible. Police do not work in an unusually dangerous profession. Police are paid with stolen money to enforce bad laws. Police are rarely held accountable for criminal acts they commit. If there is a war, it is government against the people. Police are on the government side. That makes them bad guys, not heroes.

    • SHT

      Nice troll. Got some bites.

      • Mr Trainbeans

        Thanks bro I try. There are a worryingly large number of people out there who actually think this though, albeit unconsciously (mostly)

    • Box215

      you are some serious scum. how dare you sit here behind your keyboard and try to blame the victim, an unarmed man helping a mentally ill adult no less. What kind of clothing should one in his profession wear then? I seriously cant believe how asinine your statement is.

      DID YOU BOTHER TO LEARN ANY FACTS IN THIS STORY? A man, laying on the ground with his hands in the air, tells police no one is armed and asks them not to shoot him. And they shoot him.

      And yet you somehow come on here and defend the actions of the police? Man, youre just as dumb as the cop who shot him.

  • Kelly Payne


    • 58 Squarebird

      Fire fighters, truck drivers, garbage men, electricians .. These and a slew more are dangerous jobs. Police Officer doesn’t even make it into the Top Ten most dangerous jobs listings.

    • nat williams

      you are as ignorant as they come!! if that’s the way you think, you go pass that entrance exam, get trained & walk in their shoes. i come from a family that had career officers & have known several over the yrs. a friend of mine went for training & dropped out half way through. there’s far more to being an officer than you people can fathom. so you go pass that exam, get trained & IF you can make it through the initial training, walk that walk!

      • Tothe

        Why should I need to get paid in stolen money to enforce bad laws in a statistically not very dangerous job before I can observe that it’s immoral to get paid with stolen money to enforce bad laws, and despite that, it’s not statistically a dangerous job?

        Let’s make an analogy. Do I need to become a Made Man in the Mafia before I can say that it’s immoral to join the mafia?

      • JD

        Training has nothing to do with being a racist, bigoted asshole. Mentality, upbringing, personality and lack of compassion, humanity and morals do. You can’t train that bullshit out of someone and it has nothing to do with the “difficulty” or “stress” of a career. Get over yourself.

      • Jay Matt

        As a firefighter/paramedic i know for a fact that a police officers job is not as dangerous as others. People don’t get shot robbed abused etc everyday. I work in Chicago. There are days when us and cops alike won’t do anything for a whole shift. There are veteran cops with 20 to 30 years experience and never drawn their weapon. People need to investing so much time and energy in what they see on tv because it’s all a mind fuck. Do your own research.

  • Zikina Dinastija

    guys asked your self way we’re need bad cops police to shoot us to dead ,this here in America is today is vandalism CRIMINAL against civilian USA PEOPLE

  • Morgan Morris

    This is the problem when you have law enforcement agents getting 250 hours of training and massage therapist getting 750 hours of training. To give a back rub it takes longer to earn a certificate then it does to become a cop. When training is so bad and people are so stupid of course just like this was going to happen. We’ve literally hired the dumbest people in America and then train them to shoot first and ask questions later. There’s absolutely no surprise in this. I seriously hope Mr Kinsey wins this obvious lawsuit.

    • Ruth Banks

      Not reading all of your comments but this guy have been on the force for four years and he had gotten some accommodations and was moved to the SWAT team there should not have been a reason for an excuse for more training come on now

    • nat williams

      idk where you live but the 250 hr of training is far inaccurate in my state! i come from a family that had career officers & i still know some young officers. BLT starts with 6 months of training & there are training sessions yearly to keep officers up on techniques & proper training. but for everything that thinks that career is a walk in the park & they can do better than all the officers out there, i challenge you to get off your judgemental arsh, go past the entrance exam, get the training & walk the walk! you’d be surprised how much they deal with that you have absolutely NO clue. how often they are put into life or death situations. now, go pass that entrance exam & get trained!

      • JD

        Life or death… please, from a coffee burn or choking on a doughnut maybe. The vast majority of beat cops are in less danger most of thier day or careers than the average fry cook in front of hot grease. Under covers, DEA, and swat are the only ones ever in actual threatening situations on any regular basis. Regardless of how “hard” or “stressful” thier jobs may seem is no excuse for doing dumb shit, violating peoples civil rights and being an outright (or closeted) racist. Being a racist has nothing to do with training or danger, but everything to do woth personality, mind-state, mentality and culture. Go away.

  • j0nnyBo1

    3 shots from a semi-auto weapon is not a fucking accident.

  • paulmsmith

    If this cop walks….all hell is going to break loose and rightly so. We can no longer tolerate the diminution of life by cops who, without any reasonable explanation or a sense of self control, continue to diminish us with random bullets and a wink and a nod from the justice system that is sworn to protect and defend.

  • Chumly

    I was scared for his life, so I shot and handcuffed him faced down. . .I was protecting him from the guy with the toy truck, See no one appreciates good policing anymore. Now I’m being sued for protecting and serving this citizen.

  • DOCS

    They need to do a much better of screening police applicants…

  • Morgan

    I hope he winds up OWNING that police dept. and getting the idiot who shot him FIRED.

  • JD

    100% unjustifiable, 100% punishable, 100% deserved (lawsuit AND punishment). There is no excuse, there is no cop-splaining this away and under the blue rug. Suck it, pig!

  • Burn The Obedient

    So, this cop will walk. His department’s insurance will pay for the lawsuit, which in more than one way will be stolen from the people. Hes already pushing the qualified immunity status, saying he was “trying to protect the victim”. Thats what is going to happen.

    Now, what SHOULD happen, is this officer should be immediately arrested, relieved of his badge and status, then held in jail until found guilty. Just like us. If one of us “negligently” discharged our weapon resulting in injury or death, we would HANG. Enough of this double standard. We hold cops too much to a high standard. They are citizens of this country and they should be held MORE accountable for their crimes, with more severe punishments.

  • 2coolEntertainment

    attempted murder the death penalty should be in conversations brah coulda lost his life by a Cop that says what they all say Im just doing my job. Crazy how when we had the dare program cops told us they could shot us if we had a object in hand so don’t point things at the cops. They go and shoot the unarmed man wtf the system is broken in every department on earth