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Miami cop charged in shooting of autistic man's unarmed therapist

Source: Miami Herald / Getty

The Jury Was Undecided On His Three Other Charges

According to Miami New Times, North Miami SWAT Officer Jonathan Aledda has been acquitted of one charge after shooting behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey in the leg in 2016.

You might recall Kinsey was trying to assist an unarmed man with autism, Arnaldo Rios Soto, out of an intersection. Rios had a silver truck in his hand, which Aledda claimed was a gun. Kinsey was filmed lying on the ground with his hands in the air, begging the cops not to shoot him. Yet, Aledda shot him anyways.

In 2017, Aledda was charged with four crimes — two counts of misdemeanor culpable negligence and two counts of felony attempted manslaughter. On Saturday, the jury acquitted Aledda of the culpable negligence charge, but they could not reach a verdict on the other three charges.

In court last week, Aledda tried to convince people he was actually aiming at Rios Soto and not Kinsey. He said he thought Rios Soto was holding Kinsey hostage with a gun. Aledda also claimed that he didn’t hear the police radio transmissions telling officers not to fire their weapons on the scene.

Aledda was charged in 2017 after the New Times published incriminating audio from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s probe into the shooting. The recording proved that Aledda had been told over police radio that Rios Soto was not holding a gun and that cops were not supposed to shoot. In the audio, then-Chief Gary Eugene also said his department was a mess. Cops failed to adequately secure the crime scene following the shooting, and according to him, the North Miami PD was so overwhelmed with factional infighting, he worried some officers would fail to protect citizens. Eugene also said his cops tried to force others to lie in order to protect Aledda. The sworn statement Eugene provided to the FDLE conflicted with the sworn statement he gave to his internal affairs department. He was fired soon after the New Times published the recording.

After the verdict for Aledda was announced last week, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office released a statement saying her office is debating their next moves, but she’s proud of her team of prosecutors.

“Since July 18, 2016, our community has been traumatized by North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda’s shooting of mental health therapist Charles Kinsey in his effort to protect his client, Arnaldo Rios Soto,” Rundle said. “The difficulties posed by this case are clearly represented by the jury’s inability to come to a verdict on three of the four charged offenses.”

She continued that prosecutors “will be discussing the case to determine the appropriate course of action as to the unresolved counts.”



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