We Asked a Cop How to Avoid Getting Shot by the Police

July 21st 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Video of a black man shot by police is once again going viral.

However, this time the man lived to tell his own story and it demonstrates how difficult it can be to avoid being shot by police.

Police were called to a Miami street about a man threatening suicide. NPR reports that when they arrived they found Kinsey, a special needs worker, who was attempting to care for the man. The cellphone video of the incident starts with Kinsey, who is black, on the ground next to the autistic man.

Shooting of Charles Kinsey

Kinsey identifies himself, and tells the police "all he has is a toy truck in his hand," seemingly to prevent the police from thinking his client has a weapon.

Off camera, Kinsey is shot three times by police in the leg, and when the video starts again he is on the ground handcuffed. Kinsey was unarmed.

Shooting of Charles Kinsey

The witness shooting the video can be heard questioning why the police would shoot Kinsey.

"He's like 'please don't shoot me,'" said the witness. "But why they shot the black boy and not the fat boy?"

Kinsey is recovering from non-life threatening injuries. In the hospital, Kinsey told Miami fox affiliate WSVN that the officer told him he didn't know why he fired.

“It was so surprising,” Kinsey said 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.'”

ATTN: asked a retired Lt. Commander Diane Goldstein, a 20-year-veteran of the Redondo Beach Police Department, what Kinsey could have done to avoid being shot.

Based on the video, Goldstein says the answer is nothing.

"You know what I don't have an answer," she said. "This guy identified himself and had his hands up. I don't know."

Initially Goldstein thought that it could have been an accidental shooting, but after learning Kinsey was shot three times in the leg she asserted "there's no way in hell this is an accident."

Goldstein said there's some important questions that should be asked.

"How much time this officer had? Was he adequately trained?" she said. "Lack of training, lack of deescalation tactics and this horrific fear that is pervading law enforcement right now could be a factor."

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