Another Apparently Unjustified Police Shooting

This time in South Florida, where police armed with AR-15s (possibly the fully-automatic military versions of the weapons that are generally unavailable to civilians) engaged and wounded a special needs caregiver, Charles Kinsey, who was reportedly attempting to return his autistic patient/client to the facility from which he had strayed.  The patient, identified only as “Rinaldo” in the video, apparently sat and played with a toy truck while all this transpired.

Someone please explain to me how this man could have been more compliant, so as to avoid being shot at three times by these agents of the State.  As far as I can tell, and as far as the video shows, he was breaking no law.  The North Miami Police Department has confirmed he was unarmed.  He was lying flat on his back in plain view of the officers with his arms, hands, and fingers extended directly up and overhead in the air, obviously presenting no threat to them or anyone else.  While the video does not show the entire incident, it is difficult to imagine how this incident could have went from what I see with my own two eyes to reasonably justifiable without some fairly drastic and unlikely extenuating circumstances.

Someone tell me again how gun control should not extend to the state.  Explain to me why if civilians should not own and possess so-called “weapons of war,” that local law enforcement should.   Explain to me again how law enforcement officers “possess a unique combination of training and experience related to firearms.”  Explain to me how this alleged training and experience prevailed in this case (and others).  Explain to me how cops do not exacerbate manageable situations.  Explain to me how the mere presence of police to any incident does not constitute aggression on the part of the State.  Explain to me who you think showed up looking for a fight.  Explain to me why you think public trust is steadily declining in this country.

I still contend this is not a race issue, but it is impossible to ignore that this looks very bad – particularly given that the non-black “suspect” sitting right next to Kinsey was obviously less compliant than he and did not get shot at.

My guess is, particularly since Kinsey claims the cop in question said he didn’t know why he fired at him (and I have no reason to question this presently), that the officer negligently discharged his AR-15 while its select-fire was set to 3-round burst (rather than safe).  This would explain the number of rounds discharged (erroneously) and why they were relatively inaccurate (only one shot hit Kinsey, in the leg – hardly police training to aim for the leg).  If my supposition is correct, this still presents problems that need addressing.  Why was the officer’s weapon not on safe upon arrival?  If it was, what legitimately prompted him to remove the weapon from safe and place it into a firing function?  Why was the 3-round burst setting deemed appropriate?  Why was he aiming an AR-15 at Kinsey in the first place?  It will certainly be interesting to see if the officer in question is held accountable for his, at the very least, poor judgment.

Thank God Charles Kinsey is still alive, and apparently was not critically wounded.


UPDATE (22 July 2016):  The head of the Miami-Dade’s Police Benevolent Association (now there is an ironic name for you), John Rivera, stated today that the officer in question accidentally shot Kinsey when he was actually trying to shoot the autistic man who was sitting on the ground right next to him playing with a toy truck.

If this officer genuinely thought he was “protecting” Kinsey by engaging his autistic patient, then not only is he a terrible shot, but he has even worse judgment.  Both are sufficient to justify, at an absolute minimum, his being ineligible to ever wear a badge and carry a firearm ever again as an agent of the State.  I mean, truly, could the union present a more flimsy or perforated “justification” for this nonsense?

If the officer thought Kinsey was the potential victim, why did he/they cuff him and leave him on the pavement for roughly 20 minutes after they shot him?  Seriously, the police are well close enough in the video, before they fired upon Kinsey, to clearly see that the item in the patient’s hands was not a weapon and to hear Kinsey’s pleas that the young man posed no harm.  At a minimum, modern police have optics on their weapons that are more than sufficient to make positive identification of a legitimate immediate threat (PID/LIT).  This PID/LIT is the standard that we Marines operated under in Afghanistan, and this shooting would not have survived scrutiny under those rules of engagement in an active warzone.

I am sorry, but this reeks of a pathetic and defensive excuse meant to cover up a criminally negligent discharge of the officer’s weapon.  If I were the officer in question, I would be quite upset that the union is putting this stupidity out there on my behalf because it does more harm than good.  I mean, this is not doing anything at all to quell the public distrust associated with the perceived “good ol’ boys’ club” culture of the “boys in blue.”  This is exacerbating this mistrust – “you be thankful I shot you because I was actually trying to shoot the other unarmed guy that was doing nothing wrong…”  ???

This is frankly an insulting response, and the notion that “…this is not what the rest of the nation is going through” is flat-out incorrect, Mr. Union President, particularly if the responsible officer is not held accountable for his (at best) egregious error in judgment.  Indeed, this is exactly what the rest of the country is going through, and the fact that police chiefs, union presidents, and apologist politicians do not understand this, or will not recognize it, is exactly why the public trust is likely going to continue to erode from here.

It is high time to stop making lame excuses for yourselves and bite the bullet (pun intended) by taking your medicine like a man when you screw up.


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