North Miami police commander files federal lawsuit after Charles Kinsey shooting

Cmdr. Emile Hollant seeks $10 million.

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - A new lawsuit was filed this week after a controversial shooting in North Miami, where a behavioral therapist caring for an autistic man was shot by police.

The 23-page federal lawsuit lays out a number of allegations against a number of people in North Miami city government and the Police Department. 

Former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi is one of the attorneys representing Cmdr. Emile Hollant, who is seeking $10 million. 

In the lawsuit, Hollant's attorneys laid out a number of claims from racism to slander, and a violation of constitutional rights.

The complaint names the city manager, interim police chief and a city councilman, among others. 

The lawsuit stems from the 2016 shooting of an unarmed black man. 

Charles Kinsley, a mental health care worker, was shot in the leg while looking after a 27-year-old autistic man. 

Police said Arnaldo Rios was sitting in the middle of a street, holding a toy truck which officers thought was a gun. 

Hollant claimed he wasn't at the scene when the shots were fired, and was trying to get binoculars from his patrol car. 

The lawsuit stated that Officer Jonathon Aledda fired three shots before Hollant could return to the scene and see for himself what was in Rios's hands.

Hollant claims that he radioed "shots fired" immediately after the shooting and at no point did he shoot his own firearm. 

According to the complaint, Hollant was falsely accused by the city of providing misleading statements to investigators, and was publicly accused of "betraying the badge" by North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin at a news conference July 22, 2016. 

The State Attorney's Office cleared Hollant of wrongdoing, but the city still has Hollant on administrative leave with pay, and they've said he will be fired for lying about where he was at the time of the shooting. 

"In addition to the tragedy of the Kinsey shooting, on top of the tragedy of the Kinsey shooting, a second tragedy occurred," Pizzi said. "Through gross incompetence, racism, politics and vindictiveness, Emile Hollant was crucified, and had his career destroyed and has been placed on virtual house arrest for almost two years for telling the truth."

According to the complaint, Hollant "has an unblemished record as a police officer."

Aledda was charged with attempted manslaughter after the shooting. 

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