North Miami police officer charged with shooting autistic man's caretaker
Jonathon Aledda charged with attempted manslaughter, culpable negligence
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A North Miami police officer who shot an unarmed man last year has been charged with attempted manslaughter and culpable negligence, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday.
Officer Jonathon Aledda was placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
Cellphone video shows Charles Kinsey lying on his back in July 18, 2016, with his hands in the air in the area of Northeast 14th Avenue and 127th Street. Sitting next to him was an autistic man holding a toy truck.
Police said they were called to the area about a man who was walking around with a gun and threatening to commit suicide.
Sivano Hernandez, who recorded the shooting, told News 6 partner Local 10 that Kinsey was being submissive and trying to calm down the autistic man, identified as Arnaldo Rios, who was holding a toy truck.
"Before police even showed up he laid down with his hands up," Hernandez said. "Everybody at this point thought that the little toy (truck) was actually a gun because it looked silver and shiny."
In the cellphone video of the incident, Kinsey is heard telling officers that he is unarmed.
Authorities said Aledda was behind a car 152 feet away when he shot Kinsey.
Hernandez said he doesn't believe that Aledda could hear what Kinsey was saying to the officers who were closer to him.
"I'm very sure that there was no possible way that you could hear from that distance," he said.
Kinsey, who was Arnaldo Rios' behavioral therapist at the Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled, survived the shooting.
Prosecutors said in a news release that Aledda fired three shots from his Colt M4 carbine rifle, one of which struck Kinsey in the leg.
The news release stated that Aledda "was not in a position to correctly assess the situation or in a position to accurately fire."
Meanwhile, prosecutors said last August that a North Miami police commander accused of giving conflicting information in the case would not face charges.
Sources told Local 10 News that Cmdr. Emile Hollant was the voice on the police radio telling dispatchers and other officers that someone had a gun. They said he then lied to investigators, telling them he wasn't at the scene when the shooting happened.
According to the close-out memo, Hollant provided a voluntary statement to prosecutors and said that he was at the scene of the shooting and "engaged to some degree in the incidents that led up to the shooting and those that followed."
But he claimed that he returned to his police-issued vehicle, more than a block away, to retrieve his binoculars when he heard gunshots and did not witness Aledda firing his weapon.
Kinsey has filed a lawsuit against Aledda, seeking damages for the "pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress" he has suffered as a result of the shooting.
Aledda faces up to 5 years in prison if he is convicted of attempted manslaughter and up to a year in prison if he is found guilty of culpable negligence.
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