The identity of a North Miami police officer in Florida who this week shot an unarmed black man who appeared to be surrendering with his hands raised has been revealed. Jonathan Aledda is reportedly being represented by the local police union after he shot Charles Kinsey Monday as the victim was lying on his back and complying with police orders.
City officials identified Alleda Friday during a press conference. The entire episode was recorded on a bystander's cellphone before it went viral later in the week. Alleda has been with the North Miami Police Department for four years and is also a member of its SWAT team, NBC News reported. To hear him tell it, Aledda was actually aiming at the autistic man who was with Kinsey, the man's therapist.
"It appeared to the officers that the white male was trying to do harm to Mr. Kinsey," John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association in Dade County, said Friday. "In fearing for Mr. Kinsey's life, the officer discharged his firearm trying to save Mr. Kinsey's life and he missed."
Alleda shot Kinsey in the one of his legs but survived the shooting after police responded to reports of a man brandishing a gun and threatening suicide. Once the shooting was over, police failed to recover any weapons. Kinsey could be heard on the video talking to Alleda and explaining the nature of the situation.
"I'm telling them again, 'Sir, there is no need for firearms. I'm unarmed, he's an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand,'" Kinsey said at the time to no apparent avail. When he got shot, Kinsey was in complete shock.
"It was like a mosquito bite, and when it hit me, I'm like, I still got my hands in the air, and I said, 'No I just got shot!'" Kinsey said. "And I'm saying, 'Sir, why did you shoot me?' And his words to me, he said, 'I don't know.'"