In a country reeling from the police officer-involved shootings and the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Kinsley’s situation sparks a national outrage as yet another black male was shot by law enforcement.
Kinsley, a behavioral therapist, was attending to a 23-year-old man with autism who had just ran out of his group home. The man, who is white, was sitting in the middle of the street playing with a toy truck.
North Miami police were called to the scene by someone who reported that there was a white man in the middle of the road with a gun, threatening suicide. When the police arrived, Kinsley threw his hands up in the air, and tried to calmly explain the situation.
Kinsley asked the officers not to harm his patient. He was then shot three times in the leg, rolled onto his stomach, handcuffed, and waited for 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
Kinsley’s encounter with the police, up until he got shot, was captured on video.
The Huffington Post reports Kinsley’s thoughts on the situation. He said from his hospital bed,
“When he shot me, it was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite. And when he hit me, I’m like, I still got my hands in the air. I said, ‘You know, I just got shot.’ And I’m saying to them, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ And his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
According to North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene, the officer could not hear Kinsley from the road, and acted on instinct as he was told he was armed.
The officer in question is a Hispanic male with four years on the job. Many question if he acted the way he did because of the increasing tensions surrounding police, in light of the deaths of eight officers who were killed in Baton Rouge and Dallas by men angered over the death of Sterling and Castile.
However, Eugene told the media that the North Miami force is taking this situation seriously and will get to the bottom of it. CNN reports his sentiment,
“I realize there may be questions about what happened on Monday night. You have questions. The community has questions. … I, personally, have questions. I assure you, we’ll get all the answers.”