Kinsey Heals, PBA Makes Excuses, Soto Still Autistic
July 28, 2016 (Fault Lines) — In what passes for a fairytale ending these days, black and unarmed shooting victim Charles Kinsey was recently released from the hospital. Kinsey’s attorney, Hilton Napoleon, told reporters that Mr. Kinsey does not intend to file a lawsuit against the Miami Police Department at this time:
I believe it would be in the best interest of North Miami to resolve this case as quickly and amicably as possible. What he wants most is an apology from the police officer.
On the day of Kinsey’s release from the hospital, the police union broke its silence and held a press conference, ostensibly to explain why Officer Jonathon Aledda shot the Charles Kinsey in the leg, even though he was lying down with his hands up in cell phone footage of the incident. John Rivera, head of the Miami-Dade Benevolent Association, told reporters that Officer Aledda actually meant to shoot the (Hispanic, unarmed and autistic) man next to Kinsey, who was sitting cross-legged in the street and playing with a toy truck at the time.
Rivera was oddly optimistic that this admission would be the silver bullet that put an end to the growing rift between the Miami PD and the black community once and for all. As he said at the press conference:
I couldn’t allow this to continue for the community’s sake…Folks, this is not what the rest of the nation is going through.
Rivera’s statement was cold comfort to the family of Arnaldo Eliud Rios Soto, 26, the “autistic man” who has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital since the day after he witnessed the July 18th shooting of his caregiver.
On Monday, Soto’s attorney, Matthew Dietz, submitted a formal letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking the Department of Justice to investigate the handling of his client by police.
While Mr. Kinsey was released from the hospital bed, Arnaldo Rios was not. He remains in the psychiatric ward where he is inappropriately placed and segregated from the community.
Soto’s sister, Miriam Janice Rivers, told reporters that her brother “is still traumatized, he’s having night terrors. He’s not sleeping, he’s not eating. He’s not the same anymore.” According to his family, he’s still wearing the same blood-splattered shirt he had on when Kinsey was shot right next to him.
Rios was transferred to a psychiatric home the day after the shooting, after he wandered back to the spot where Charles was shot and became extremely distressed. “The next day, he was so upset, he was so devastated, he went right back to where Mr. Kinsey was shot,” said Dietz. “Where there was blood on the street and he started pounding the ground, and crying and shouting.”
North Miami Police Department Officer Jonathan Aledda was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, per departmental policy, according to the agency.
“If this police department had adequate training, this would not have happened,” Dietz said. “When they see a person … sitting crossed legged, rocking back-and-forth with a truck … they should have known we may have a person with autism.”
Then again, it wasn’t Soto who took a bullet. When it comes to things they “should have known,” Kinsey’s lying on the ground, hands in the air, screaming to the police that he was Soto’s behavioral therapist and that Soto was autistic is pretty high on the list as well.