Cop shoots caretaker of autistic man playing in the street with toy truck


#1

When a 23-year-old autistic man carrying a toy truck wandered from a mental health center out into the street Monday, a worker there named Charles Kinsey went to retrieve him.

A few minutes later the autistic man was still sitting cross-legged blocking the roadway while playing with the small, rectangular white toy. And Kinsey was prone on the ground next to him — a bullet from an assault rifle fired by a police officer having struck his leg.

“He throws his hands up in the air and says, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ They say lie on the ground, so he does,” Kinsey’s attorney Hilton Napoleon said Wednesday. “He’s on his back with his hands in the air trying to convince the other guy to lie down. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Cellphone video footage obtained by Napoleon clearly shows the heavy-set autistic man sitting and playing with his toy while Kinsey, dressed in a yellow shirt and shorts, obeys police orders to lie down on his back.

The video, taken before the officer fired his weapon, shows Kinsey on his back with his hands in the air telling police he didn’t have a weapon and asking them not to fire. At one point the autistic man appears to yell at Kinsey to shut up. A second brief video shows officers who are carrying rifles physically patting down Kinsey and the autistic man while they are lying on the ground.

In an interview with WSVN-Channel 7, Kinsey said that after he was shot, officers approached and flipped him over and handcuffed him.

“Sir, there’s no need for firearms,” Kinsey told the news station he said to police before he was shot. “It was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite.”

Kinsey said when he asked the officer why he fired his weapon, the cop responded, “I don’t know.”

"I don’t know," the cop replied when asked why he shot an unarmed Black man. Seems as good as any other excuse the police use these days.


#2

I read this this morning and saw a picture of Mr Kinsey lying on his back with hands in the air. I am glad he’s expected to recover fully. But wow. :frowning:


#3

With all the attacks on police lately, I think the police officer was overly wary–I imagine many are. I truly believe the officer doesn’t know why he shot–I think he’s been traumatized by fear. Thanks be the man will recover–and thanks be he wasn’t killed. I hope the officer receives some psychological help for his fears.


#4

There was nothing to be afraid of. He had his hands in the air and told them exactly what he was doing. They shot him anyway. What could this man possibly have done to keep from getting shot?

Yes he needs psychological help but he also needs to spend some time in prison like any other person that shoots another human being for absolutely no reason.


#5

Nothing to be afraid of when police have been ambushed in seemingly non-violent places, like a gas station? As I wrote, the officer’s fear is probably deeply psychological. Such fears aren’t rational. If they were, the poor man lying in the street wouldn’t have been shot–not that it was his fault, of course–he was a victim of all the hatred against police as much as the officer who shot him.

Yes he needs psychological help but he also needs to spend some time in prison like any other person that shoots another human being for absolutely no reason.

He could get jail time, but that’s for the courts to decide, not us. However it goes, hopefully, justice will be satisfied. No doubt the city will end up paying the victim a lot of money because of this–prompting them to better educate their officers and watch for signs of stress in them.


#6

I think it makes more sense to blame the man with a smoking gun rather than some abstraction like “hatred of the police made him scared”. You can’t put this back on the protesters (if that’s who you are referring to) because they are protesting this exact thing. The cop should be arrested immediately just like anybody else that tried to kill an innocent man.


#7

I didn’t put any blame on protesters. I put the blame on those who are ambushing police–and that is happening all around the country, in case you haven’t noticed. And I also wrote that the police officer’s fate is in the hands of the courts–where it belongs, not according to the judgment of internet commenters like us. :slight_smile:


#8

You know, I did not care for it when on the Baton Rogue ambush thread, some one came in and started victim blaming the police. I believe the same here. The “atmosphere” and not excuse anything but hanging up the badge. If you want to keep at it, then you must not do stupid things in the name of being afraid.


#9

Even when you obey an Police Officers orders and act as respectful as anyone could act the Police still attempt to murder you.


#10

I have a son with autism, on the severe end of the spectrum, so this hits a little close to home. That said, I don’t envy the position the police have been placed in. They’ve got a tough job to do, made tougher because everybody’s looking for a reason to slam them, and made almost untenable now that they have to worry about getting shot at any given moment. There’s a vicious cycle going on. As more pressure is put on the police, more police are going to crack under that pressure and more incidents like this are going to happen, which will further up the pressure, leading to further cracks, ad infinitum.


#11

As I wrote, the officer said he doesn’t know why he fired his gun. Sounds like a trauma induced reaction to me. That’s not to say the officer shouldn’t face some kind of censure, perhaps be tried for discharging his weapon unnecessarily and causing bodily harm. But let’s remember that the police are human beings, not robots. They have the same hope and fears the rest of us have, with the added stress of being randomly targeted. I’m sure there are those suffering from PTSD–for which they should be treated. The police department has an obligation to both the public and to their officers to maintain their ability to do their jobs properly. A review of that obligation in the light of recent events is in order.


#12

Indeed.


#13

This kind of comment is what keeps people, police and the public, in fear. Think about that.


#14

No excuse at all for shooting the guy on the ground. Abuse of power and being too trigger happy are the causes. I believe in law and order but as for anger about black people being harassed by police, yes, it does happen and it has been going on for a long time.


#15

And hopefully he’s given a pink slip and charged while he’s getting psychological treatment.

Just because he was afraid is no excuse to shoot an unarmed man who had his hands up and was incapacitated on the street (and who was caring for a disabled man playing with a freaking toy truck). If he doesn’t have the mental fortitude for the job, he should have found another line of work before he shot a man in a completely unjustified shooting. In this instance he should be treated no different than if you or I had shot a man for no reason. :mad:


#16

Lots of people face stress and trauma. That doesn’t give them a free pass to shoot people.


#17

And yet it’s the truth as this episode demonstrates. I’ve got a pair of friends who are cops and they agree. Cops like this guy are helping to create an atmosphere of fear of the police (and they’re making it that much harder for the rest of those in law enforcement). Are some police justifiably afraid because of others also adding to the atmosphere of fear, absolutely.

That said, this is not one of those instances. This cop had no reason to be fearful of a man with his hands up laying in the street. And if he was, he’s was in the wrong line of work. I mean as the officer said he had no idea why he shot. Fortunately the victim was not killed, and this police officer will hopefully be shown the door. He has no business wearing the uniform.


#18

The stress of the bakery running out of your favorite pastry is a little bit less intense than a police officer worried about getting shot at any given time.:rolleyes:


#19

Thank God this victim is.


#20

It was two guys in the road, one playing with a toy. What exactly is threatening about that?

Yes, I’m sure police are even more on their guard due to all the attacks and murders of police lately. But it’s two guys sitting in the road.

Why they even made him put his hands in the air is completely beyond me. A simple conversation telling him they need to get out of the road and letting the caretaker explain that the other man is autistic and that he’s trying to get him out of the road should have been the only thing that happened here.


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