From Claire Bernish:
An unarmed therapist, who had his hands in the air as he lay on his back on the ground attempting to calm an autistic patient in distress, was shot in the leg by a trigger-happy cop.
Police in North Miami, Florida, responded to an emergency 911 call of a man with a gun who was threatening to commit suicide — but behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey told WSVN-TV he believes the caller likely mistook the autistic patient’s toy truck for a firearm.
After the autistic man ran away from a group home, Kinsey was summoned to calm him. In cellphone video that went viral Wednesday, Kinsey can be seen lying on his back with his arms stretched straight above his head in the air as he counsels the autistic man sitting on the pavement next to him, toy truck in hand — as police train their rifles at the pair from behind a patrol car.
Kinsey told WSVN-TV he repeatedly explained the situation to the rifle-wielding officers — apparently to no avail.
“When I went to the ground, I’m going to the ground just like this here with my hands up,” Kinsey, stretching his arms stiffly above his head, as he recounted events for the news outlet from his hospital bed, “and I’m laying down here, just like this, and I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand.’”
In video footage, Kinsey clearly states, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
But, as officers kept their rifles aimed directly at the pair, Kinsey tried to calm the autistic man out of fear he would be shot for any sudden movements perceived by the cops as a threat.