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Charles Kinsey still haunted by memories of police-involved shooting

Officer Jonathon Aledda faces attempted manslaughter charge

MIAMI – The video made national headlines: A behavioral therapist seen with his hands up, lying in the street next to his autistic patient.

"All he has is a toy truck! A toy truck! I am a behavioral therapist at a group home here," the man was heard yelling at police.

After several minutes, an officer fired three shots. Therapist Charles Kinsey was struck in the leg.

That was July 18, 2016.

On Monday, the criminal trial for the officer accused of pulling the trigger is scheduled to begin in Miami-Dade County court.

Since the shooting, Kinsey left the group home and said he started his own landscaping and pressure-washing business. He said some days on the job are physically demanding.

"I have an issue with my leg. I still have metal fragments in my leg. Lately, it has been paining me, but I deal with it," he said.

He said the memories from that evening still haunt him.

"I look back at that moment -- at what had happened to me -- and it's like, it still don't seem like it's real," he said.

Police said Arnaldo Rios, who was nonverbal and autistic, wandered away from the group home where Kinsey was working in North Miami.

Concerned neighbors called 911, thinking Rios might have been holding a gun.

"I don't know if it's a gun, but he had something that was shaped like a gun," said one 911 caller.

It turned out the gun was actually a toy truck. Kinsey said he sat in the street next to Rios to calm him down.

"The only thing I was doing was trying to do was assist my client. That's it," Kinsey said.

Investigators said Jonathon Aledda, a four-year North Miami Police Department veteran and SWAT officer, fired his rifle three times.
  
Kinsey was hit once. In the more than two years since the shooting, there have been protests, a police commander was fired and a new police chief was hired.

And Kinsey, who said he's trying to put his life back together, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. He now has a second job as a counselor in another facility because he's still compelled to help others.

"That's me," Kinsey said. "I just feel like it's in me to help people."

Aledda been suspended from the force with pay and faces charges of attempted manslaughter and culpable negligence.

Pages of records released by North Miami Police Department show he's received several commendations and outstanding remarks for his work.

Neither the North Miami city manager nor the police department would comment for this story, citing the pending litigation.

Local 10 News also contacted Aledda's attorney by phone and email but as of Friday had not received a response.


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