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An unarmed black man was shot by US police as he was trying to help an autistic man

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Dramatic cellphone video footage broadcast by Miami TV station WSVN shows the moments unarmed caregiver Charles Kinsey was shot by police.

In yet another disturbing case of an unarmed black man being shot by officers in the US, Kinsey is shown in the video lying on the ground with his hands in the air. Kinsey, who was shot in the leg and survived, told police he was unarmed and that the man he was assisting was autistic.

“I am laying down here just like this, and I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand’,” Kinsey told WSVN.

“It was like a mosquito bite, and when it hit me, I’m like, ‘I still got my hands in the air,’ and I said, ‘No I just got shot!’ And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me, he said, ‘I don’t know’.”

North Miami Police said officers were dispatched to the scene after receiving a 911 call that an armed male suspect was threatening suicide. “At some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon, striking the [care facility] employee,” the department said in a statement.

The officer who shot Kinsey has been placed on administrative leave, and an investigation has been launched.

The shooting of Kinsey comes just weeks after Alton Sterling, a black man who was selling CDs outside a convenience store, was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The incident was captured by a bystander on his smartphone.

Also this month, Philando Castile was fatally shot by police in Minnesota at a traffic stop; horrifying footage of a the bleeding black man was broadcast on Facebook Live by his partner, who was also in the car. “The police just shot him for no apparent reason,” she says in the video. “No reason at all.”

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