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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Miami jury on Friday heard potentially damaging testimony against 32-year-old North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda who’s accused of shooting an unarmed caretaker.
It happened in July of 2016 and is a case that has received nationwide attention.
Police were called to a scene after a report that a man had a shiny object with him that was possibly a gun. The defense says Aledda believed that 26-year-old Arnaldo Rios, a severely disabled man, was holding his caretaker Charles Kinsey hostage.
Prosecutors say Aledda fired three times at Rios. One bullet struck Kinsey in the thigh and nearly hit a main artery.
Cell phone video showed Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands in the air. Prosecutor Reid Rubin and Kinsey both have said that Kinsey was no threat.
On Friday afternoon, prosecution witness, Officer Alens Bernadeau, testified that Kinsey was yelling that he had his hands up in the air.
“Did he keep his hands up,” the officer was asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “He had some sort of toy or truck or car.”
Bernadeau also demonstrated how it was pointed.
“It was pointed like this at me,” he said, as he handled the toy truck in front of jurors.
Bernadeau and his partner Officer Kevin Crespo were 20 feet away from Kinsey and Rios and were about to approach them when the shots were fired.
Bernadeau said he did not feel compelled to fire his weapon.
In court Friday morning, the jury was shown the AR-15 that Aledda used.
He’s the first police officer since 1989 to be prosecuted in Miami-Dade for an on-duty shooting.
Civil rights groups have criticized police tactics in this case.
Aledda is charged with two counts of felony attempted manslaughter and two counts of culpable negligence.
In dramatic testimony on Thursday, Kinsey said, “My hands were straight up.”
“Why did you put your hands up,” the prosecutor asked.
“Because they pulled out guns and I let them know I was not a threat,” said Kinsey. “I told the officers there is no need for firing. I am not a threat. I am not armed. My client is not armed. I am a behavioral therapist. That’s all this is.”