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.