[WATCH] Officer Earned $175,000 on Leave Since Controversial Police Shooting But Wants $5M More

It’s a standoff that has cost North Miami taxpayers close to $175,000, left the city with one less senior police officer, and remains a sticking point for a city trying to move past a controversial police shooting.

And now, 16 months after behavioral specialist Charles Kinsey was shot lying flat on his back with his hands in the air while trying to protect his severely autistic patient, it’s finally got a legal name: Police Cmdr. Emile Hollant vs. the city of North Miami.

Hollant, in charge of a chaotic July 2016 shooting that put the city in an unwanted national spotlight, hasn’t worked a single day since. Yet he hasn’t lost a paycheck or any benefits, either. The city, wading through investigations and trying to avoid a lawsuit, never fired him. Hollant, expecting a legal settlement, has refused to quit.

Now, trying to force the city’s hand, Hollant on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding $5 million in compensatory damages and claiming the city has violated his civil rights, inflicted emotional distress and is punishing him for a being a whistle-blower, among other things.

“Emile Hollant has been crucified and had his life destroyed and placed on virtual house arrest for almost two years,” Hollant’s attorney, Michael Pizzi, said on Friday. “They’ve engaged in a pattern of lies, deceit and an irresponsible witch hunt.”

The conditions of Hollant’s leave if he wishes to continue to be paid his salary and benefits, which add up to $131,000 each year: He must remain home during working hours. He can leave only with the consent of a supervisor. On nights, weekends, holidays and mornings before work, he’s free to do as he wishes. Holland, 55, also gets vacation time off.

North Miami, noting that two outside administrative agencies have determined Hollant wasn’t discriminated against, calls it “ironic” that it’s being forced to defend Hollant and others in lawsuits filed by the two who were actually victimized by the shooting.

Video shows the scene before and after caretaker Charles Kinsey is shot. He is shown lying in the street with a 23-year-old autistic man before being hit by a bullet from an assault rifle fired by a North Miami police officer.

“Commander Hollant remains on paid administrative leave while we finalize due process he alleges we are circumventing,” North Miami City Manager Larry Spring said in a prepared statement. “In fact, we have provided Commander Hollant and his attorneys several opportunities to discuss this employment matter and possible resolutions.”

North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin, who was outspoken about what he perceived as Hollant’s mismanagement of the shooting scene in its immediate aftermath, is also named in the commander’s lawsuit. Galvin denies the city has been stringing Hollant along.

“You have to allow someone every opportunity before you terminate their employment,” said the councilman. “Like it or not like it, he has the right to file appeals and other courses of action.”

In the suit, Hollant claims the city intentionally inflicted emotional distress, that it violated the Whistle Blower statute and that Galvin slandered him after the shooting.

“Today he can’t leave his home,” Pizzi said during a Friday news conference at his office. “He’s still under virtual house arrest. He’s been ordered by the city of North Miami to sit home and not go anywhere.”

Hollant, who was by the attorney’s side during the briefing, often whispered into Pizzi’s ear, but otherwise remained silent.

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