Sister of Autistic Man Whose Caregiver Was Shot by Police Says He Is Traumatized
Charles Kinsey was shot by police while attending to 23-year-old Arnaldo
The sister of the autistic man whose unarmed caregiver was apparently accidentally shot by a police officer in North Miami, Florida, earlier this week is speaking out about the incident, saying her traumatized brother is asking for his caregiver, Charles Kinsey, and doesn’t understand why the man was shot.
“He keeps having frequent episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep,” Miriam Janice Rivers posted on Facebook. “Asking for Charles, crying. He wasn’t eating and he was anxious.”
Rivers says she also has problems with the police explanation that the officer was aiming for her brother because he thought her brother, Arnaldo, had a weapon, but missed and instead shot Kinsey in the leg.
“As if THAT makes the whole situation better,” Rivers says. “And if that was the case, how come they handcuffed Mr. Charles while he was bleeding from the bullet wound? Also handcuffed my brother.”
The episode unfolded Monday when Rivers’s 23-year-old brother, carrying a toy truck, allegedly wandered away from his Florida group home and was followed by his behavioral therapist, Kinsey, 47.
Police responding to call of a suicidal man found both men in the middle of the street. Kinsey, who was lying on the ground with his hands up, told cops that he was a therapist for the autistic man sitting next to him playing with the toy, according to cell phone video of the incident.
Apparently taking aim for Arnaldo because they thought he posed a threat, police missed and shot Kinsey in the leg.
Rivers says Arnaldo, now being treated in a hospital behavioral unit, remains confused about what happened.
“He doesn’t have the capacity to comprehend the gravity of the situation,” his sister wrote. “But he understands someone got hurt. He understands Mr. Charles got hurt. Why? Because he kept saying to my mom: ‘Blood oh no Charles, blood!'”
She added that the family is keeping Kinsey in their thoughts. “I just hope Mr. Charles recovers quickly and stays safe,” she wrote.
Kinsey has been released from the hospital and is recovering physically but still is struggling emotionally, his attorney Hilton Napoleon tells PEOPLE.
“He feels as though he did everything by the book and then some,” Napoleon says. “It’s hard for anyone to wrap their heads around how anyone could get shot in that situation.”
No lawsuit is planned at this time, he said. “I believe it would be in the best interest of North Miami to resolve this case as quickly and amicably as possible,” he said. “What he wants most is an apology from the police officer.”
As for Arnaldo, Rivers says she is hoping her brother can recover. “I also hope Arnaldo heals,” she wrote, “and forgets what happened quickly.”