North Miami Cop Who Shot Charles Kinsey Charged With Attempted Manslaughter
Miami-Dade's top prosecutor, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, has recently faced a tidal wave of criticism from
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it has charged North Miami SWAT Officer Jonathan
A cell-phone video caught Kinsey lying on his back with his arms in the air, repeatedly stressing he was complying with cops, and begging officers not to shoot just before he was hit.
"These charges are the result of a lengthy inquiry which included a prosecutorial review of the police investigation, numerous police and prosecutor meetings to review case evidence, site re-enactments, and the taking of additional statements of police witnesses after the completion of the FDLE investigation," a news release from Rundle's office reads.
The charges come a week after New Times obtained audio from North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene's testimony to Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators, in which Eugene said his officers announced over police radio that Rios-Soto was holding a toy before
The evidence directly contradicts statements from the Dade County Police Benevolent
New Times also obtained
Rundle's news release reveals additional details that are even less flattering to
In the arrest warrant, investigators fault a Miami-Dade County Police dispatcher, who warned cops that Rios-Soto was holding a gun but did not tell the cops that the 911 caller said she wasn't actually sure what she saw.
"Notably, the transmission did not include important information obtained by the 911 call taken from [caller's name redacted]," the warrant says. "The most significant of which was that [the caller] said she was unsure whether the object in Mr. Soto’s hands was a gun. The transmission also did not include that [the caller] described Mr. Soto as being 'mentally ill,' nor did it alert the officers that a second person was on scene trying to help."
The warrant says
"211. I have a clear shot of the subject,"
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The warrant says there were other cops who were far closer, who had much better views of Kinsey and Rios-Soto than
"I have a visual, does not appear to be a firearm," Bernadeau said. "Have units [stand by]." Two other cops confirmed to investigators that they heard Bernadeau's transmission.
But less than a minute later, just as two cops said they were going to approach Kinsey and Rios-Soto,
Multiple cops said that the shots confused them and that Rios-Soto hadn't made any strange or sudden movements just before
Kinsey cried out in pain when the bullet struck his leg. Rios-Soto, who had been sitting in the street, stood up and began to scream. Then, oddly,
“North Miami, uh, 211, he — be advised it's a toy gun,"
"Mr. Kinsey, who was screaming out in pain, was still too far from Officer
Initially, cops claimed
"The State Attorney has fully vindicated my client Commander Emile Hollant of any wrong doing by only prosecuting Officer Jonathan Aledda for the shooting of Charles Kinsey," says Michael Joseph, an attorney representing Hollant, in a statement. "Nonetheless, the City of North Miami has not reinstated Commander Hollant to active duty nor made any attempts to clear his good name. The City must stop protecting bad cops or officials within its ranks and make things right with Commander Hollant."
The charges are a surprising move for Rundle's office. Last month, she declined to charge four state prison guards who were accused of placing Darren Rainey, a black inmate with severe schizophrenia, into a scalding-hot shower and keeping him there until he died. Angry citizens flooded Rundle's office with phone calls, and civil rights advocates say the case remains a stain on Rundle's legacy as a prosecutor.
A 2012 memo from
Tim Elfrink contributed reporting.
This is a breaking story. This post will be updated.
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