It turns out the North Miami police officer shown on video shooting a black man who was lying on the ground with his hands in the air was actually trying to shoot the autistic man sitting next to him. That's according to the head of the police union. The Miami Herald calls it a "stunning admission." Slate believes the new excuse is possibly “an effort to strip away the racial dimensions of the shooting.” Police were called Monday for reports of a suicidal man with a gun. When they arrived, they found Kinsey attempting to get the unnamed autistic man, who was sitting on the ground playing with a toy truck, back into a nearby mental health center.
Kinsey complied with police orders to get on the ground and put his hands up. The autistic man continued to sit on the ground with his toy truck. The union head, John Rivera, says the unnamed officer—a "decorated" member of the city's SWAT team—thought the autistic man was going to kill Kinsey with a "gun." But Slate points out that Kinsey could be heard yelling: “All he has is a toy truck in his hand. That’s all it is. There is no need for guns.” The officer fired three shots from an assault rifle. One of the bullets struck Kinsey in the leg, wounding him. “I’m standing there like, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me was, ‘I don’t know,'” Kinsey tells WSVN. The officer has been placed on administrative leave. (Read more police shooting stories.)