Autistic Man’s Family Sues Over Florida Police Shooting

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — An autistic man’s family is suing the city of North Miami and four police officers, claiming the disabled man’s civil rights were violated.

The police interrogation of Arnaldo Soto was released Monday nearly a year after the autistic man was taken in handcuffs to the North Miami Police Department.

On July 18, 2016, Soto was in the street with his caregiver who was trying to coax him back into his group home.

Soto had a toy in his hand, which was mistaken for a gun.

North Miami police opened fire and shot caregiver Charles Kinsey in the leg while his hands were raised.

After the shooting, Soto was taken to the police department and interrogated in a small room.

In the video, you see an officer try to question Soto about the incident and it is clear Soto is unable to communicate.

At one point he indicates he wants to have his shackles removed and the request is denied.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Soto’s mother and sister say they were deeply disturbed by what they saw on the interrogation video.

“I’m heartbroken. I feel so guilty I couldn’t be there for him. I’m upset in this day and age they can’t tell that he’s autistic,” said Miriam Rios, Soto’s sister.

“There is no constitutional right that wasn’t trampled by North Miami police on that day,” said attorney Matthew Dietz.

Kinsey, who no longer works as a caregiver, is also suing the city. He continues to recover from his gunshot wound 11 months after he was hit in the leg.

Soto now lives at a special needs facility in Central Florida. His mother and sister moved from their Kendall home to be near him.

In April, North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda was charged with attempted manslaughter for shooting Kinsey.

Soto’s family hopes their lawsuit will lead to lasting change on how developmentally disabled people are viewed.

“They should have known and understood this was a person with autism and they did no,” said Dietz.

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