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Police Shoot Unarmed African-American Man With Arms Raised

  • VOA News

In this July 20, 2016, frame from video, Charles Kinsey explains in an interview from his hospital bed in Miami what happened when he was shot by police Monday.

In this July 20, 2016, frame from video, Charles Kinsey explains in an interview from his hospital bed in Miami what happened when he was shot by police Monday.

Police in the southeastern city of North Miami, Florida, shot an unarmed African-American therapist who was lying on the ground with his arms raised as he tried to calm his autistic patient.

Video of the encounter was captured minutes before the shooting on a cellphone camera. The shooting occurred Monday, and the video was provided to the Miami Herald newspaper Wednesday.

The video shows Charles Kinsey trying to get the autistic man, who was blocking traffic, to return to an assisted-living facility. Kinsey is seen lying down with his arms prominently displayed in the air and talking to police and his patient, who was sitting in the street playing with a toy truck.

Kinsey appears to have been surrounded by police when one officer fired his gun three times.

"As long as I've got my hands up, they're not going to shoot me. This is what I am thinking," Kinsey said from a hospital bed where he is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg.

After the shooting, Kinsey said he asked the officer why he was shot. The officer responded, "I don't know," Kinsey said.

Police said they responded to reports about a man with a gun threatening to kill himself, but no gun was found.

North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene said the officer has been put on routine administrative leave and that the investigation has been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the state's attorney.

Eugene described the shooting as a "very sensitive matter" and assured an open and thorough investigation. Eugene declined to identify the officer who fired the shots, nor did he answer reporters' questions at a Thursday news conference.

The shooting comes amid heightened tension in the U.S. after gunmen killed eight law enforcement officers in the southern cities of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas.

Police are under renewed scrutiny after the fatal shootings of two African-American men earlier this month in Baton Rouge and in the midwestern state of Minnesota.

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