MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Dade County Police Benevolent Association has offered some clarity following the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed black man in Miami.
Charles Kinsey, a mental health caregiver, was shot in the leg as he lay in the middle of the street next to his 24-year-old client, who is said to be autistic and wandered away from the Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled.
Kinsey shouted to officers, who had their weapons drawn after receiving a 911 call about a man with a gun, that the object his client was holding was not a gun, but a toy truck.
“This is not a case of a rogue cop,” said PBA President John Rivera. “This is not a case of police abuse. This is a case where a police officer was trying to save Mr. Kinsey’s life and, unfortunately, his shot went astray.”
The PBA maintains that the officer involved, a decorated member of the SWAT team, did not hear what Kinsey was saying. They said the officer thought that the autistic man Kinsey was trying to get out of the street was attempting to harm Kinsey.
That officer, who has yet to be identified, released a statement.
“I took this job to save lives and help people. I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that and hate to hear others paint me as something I am not.”
Rivera requested the public and media to remain patient as the facts are developed.
Kinsey was released from the hospital on Thursday.