And Once Again, They Shot The Black Man Because … ???

One of the comments I hear most often when I write about unarmed black men being shot by police is along the lines of “well, he shouldn’t have run” or “well, if he had just done as the police told him to …”  Now picture this:

kinsey-1An autistic man in his early 20s, with nearly no verbal communication skills and very low cognitive abilities runs away from an assisted living facility and, once outside, confused and unsure what to do, where to go, he sits down in the middle of a busy street, blocking traffic, and begins playing with a white toy truck.  Along comes one of the therapists from the facility (African-American) to attempt to calm the young autistic patient.  Someone called the police … who knows why … to report that the man had a gun and was threatening suicide.  He did not have a gun, not even a toy gun … he had only a toy truck.  And since he does not communicate verbally, he obviously was not threatening suicide. (Perhaps it is time for concerned citizens to think before dialing 911???) When police arrived, the therapist, upon orders by police, lay on the ground with his hands straight up in the air, and tried to calmly talk the young patient into doing the same.  He yelled to the police, who were hiding behind telephone poles, that he only had a toy truck, as he continued trying to coax the young man to lie down on the pavement.  The therapist (black, remember) had his arms straight in the air, when police fired three shots, hitting him, the therapist, who was lying with his hands in the air, not the patient who was still sitting upright playing with his truck.  Want to tell me again how police do not target black people unfairly?

Fortunately, a bystander caught much of the incident leading up to the shooting on video, though supposedly not the actual shooting itself. Please take a minute to watch, and I think you will agree that there was no reason for the first shot to be fired.  Charles Kinsey shooting

The place was Miami Florida.  It happened last Monday, fully three days ago as of this writing. The therapist is one Charles Kinsey, the autistic patient shall remain unnamed, the two white police officers have not yet, three days after the fact, been identified, however we do know that both were white, one a male and one a female.  One officer claims he thought Kinsey was in danger from the unarmed autistic man playing with his toy truck, and was attempting to shoot the patient in order to protect Kinsey.  How did this officer ever pass the police academy, since he or she is obviously not able to hit a fairly large target at reasonably close range?  According to Kinsey, the officer who fired the shots seemed confused by what happened. “‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’” Kinsey recalled asking the officer. “He said, ‘I don’t know.’”

kinsey-2But this isn’t all, folks.  First, the Keystone Kops handcuffed both the therapist and the patient, then left the wounded, bleeding therapist in the street, handcuffed, for a reported 20 minutes before transport to the hospital arrived.

An investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been launched, and they are refusing to name the officers involved.  Attorney General Loretta Lynch noted that she is aware of the situation, but does not yet possess enough facts to determine whether or not her office will review the case.

A 73-year-old man, watching from a corner store on the street, saw that the autistic patient had a toy truck, and recognized it as such.  Kinsey yelled to the police not to shoot, that the patient was autistic and was only playing with a toy truck.  Yet they claim that they still believed he had a gun.

Those are the facts that have been made to the public thus far.  Obviously, there are some gaps.

I join the rest of the nation, regardless of race, in mourning the slain officers in Dallas and in Baton Rouge.  I condemn the behaviour of those who went on cop-killing sprees in recent weeks.  I do not in any way, shape, or form condone the random and senseless murders of law enforcement officers.  However, neither do I condone heavy-handed, trigger-happy, racist police officers shooting unarmed people.  And I absolutely do not condone racism in our law enforcement communities!  Admittedly, I do not have all the facts in this case, but based on the reported facts thus far, plus the video, this appears to have all the makings of misconduct and stupidity at the very least, or more likely a case of racism.  I fear that the attacks on police officers across the nation are destined to become the norm unless we get the racists off the police force pronto.  There has been and continues to be entirely too much of this.  It needs to stop, but until the police who commit the crime are brought to justice (think Baltimore), then I do not foresee any good outcome, any improvement.  Of late, there have been numerous stories in mainstream and social media about police and community coming together, doing nice things for each other.  And that is nice.  Very nice.  But the reality is that out there in the streets, in the everyday world, nothing has really changed.  If we want the community to respect law enforcement, then those who represent law enforcement must respect the community.  Period.

13 thoughts on “And Once Again, They Shot The Black Man Because … ???

  1. You probably should have waited a tad longer…..the policeman is Hispanic, not white. Starting to sound like Trump lol….. I just don’t understand any of what the officer said though, either he was going to shoot the autistic guy or the black guy. Either way he was dead wrong to even think about pulling that trigger. I may be wrong but I don’t see racism, per se, I see a lot of inexpiereced police. That make the wrong decisions in instances like this. They need to get them off of the streets or train them better. Thank goodness Mr. Kinsey survived. As far as Baltimore…..they were all charged and most of them have been acquitted . What more else can they do? Obviously justice sees it a different way than you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe … but if he is just that trigger-happy, he really, really does not need to be in law enforcement and does not need to be carrying a gun. I still think there is some racism involved, but we shall see. As re: Baltimore … yes, they were acquitted, but I believe wrongly so. But that is my opinion … the judge obviously felt differently. Or was told to think differently. We will never know for sure.

      Like

    • First of all hispanic is an ethnicity not a race. The cop was White hispanic. Secondly, white hispanics can be racist too. Thirdly, racists aren’t only white. All racism is wrong whether you are black, white, or asian…..unfortunately minority groups feel the affects way more than us white people do. This is just as much a case of police brutality as it is racism. I stand against both. I support the good police officers that go to work everyday and do their jobs well. I don’t support them being able to do whatever they want and hurt anyone they want without consequence just because they chose the profession they did. Their lives are no more or less important than mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The departments that are working towards addressing this issue are led by people who understand how implicit bias affects policing.

    There was no reason to take that shot in Florida. None at all. That offier is a member of their SWAT team and was using a high powered rifle, likely an AR-15. SWAT are supposed to be highly trained, expert marksmen, and skilled decision makers. I don’t know how he’s SWAT.

    I’m waiting to see what the outcome is on this case. If there is a perfect case to display overreacting, this is it. If it’s swept under the rug, then we’ll get what we deserve for letting that happen.

    I say this as a Black American and law enforcement officer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed. The world will be watching, so they really need to get it right this time, unlike Baltimore. I did not realize you were a member of law enforcement, so I hope I have not offended you in any way. Overall, I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement community, but like anything else, a few bad apples … Thanks much for your insight!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You haven’t offended me at all. I’ve written a few pieces about my work, but i don’t go into detail because I work for the feds. Social media is a double edged sword for me. I can use it to communicate with people, but I can also say something wrong and end up unemployed.

        I’m 100% with you on the few bad apples, and I have no problem with pointing that out. I come from a big family steeped in military and law enforcement tradition. I don’t face the same perils of a street cop, but I do know and understand what they have to deal with. I also understand how bias can effect your work performance having experienced dealing with it myself.

        Thanks for allowing me to comment. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is interesting to note that the psychological profile of a typical policeman is almost exactly like that of a criminal. I don’t paint all of them with the same brush, but there is enough hatred and bigotry among those with guns pledged to “serve and protect” to gives pause…. … There is such a thing as a “power trip” and so many who can do so find it difficult to refuse the ride. We need to go back and think about the difference between “power” and “authority.”

    Liked by 1 person

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