The Five Biggest Miami Police Stories of 2016

Behavior technician Charles Kinsey lies on his back with his hands in the air shortly before being shot by North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda this past July 18.
Behavior technician Charles Kinsey lies on his back with his hands in the air shortly before being shot by North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda this past July 18.
screencap via YouTube

Just in time for the holiday season, two Miami-Dade County Police officers this week were filmed handcuffing a frail, legless woman, dropping her on the ground, and letting her lie on the asphalt as she screamed for help, all because the woman panhandled a single dollar outside a Chevron gas station. On Thursday, the county police released body camera footage, in which the cops repeatedly mocked the woman, accused the old, disabled lady of attacking them, and unconstitutionally told a bystander to stop recording them.

Against all odds, this wasn't even one of the five most outrageous things Miami cops have done this year.

As anti-police-brutality protests roiled the nation for yet another year (and as very little changed for the better), Miami cops from various departments bumbled their way through a series of massive missteps this year, including shooting an unarmed man in the leg who was just trying to help an autistic person.

1. The Charles Kinsey Shooting: Kinsey, a behavioral technician, was just trying to help lead an autistic patient of his back home, after the man wandered out of his group home holding a toy truck. But someone decided to call the cops to investigate the scene, and apparently the words "I am unarmed" and "he is holding a toy truck" weren't enough to stop the cops from surrounding him with assault rifles. After Kinsey was filmed on the ground, with his arms in the air, shouting that he had no weapon, North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda shot Kinsey in the leg anyway. His excuse? He was aiming for the unarmed autistic man. Because that made everything better.

A Miami police union chief called for officers to boycott Beyoncé's April 27 show at Marlins Park, but the police department says it had no problem staffing the event to capacity.
A Miami police union chief called for officers to boycott Beyoncé's April 27 show at Marlins Park, but the police department says it had no problem staffing the event to capacity.
Photo by Robin Harper

2. Miami's Police Union Chief Starts an Embarrassing, Failed Beyoncé Boycott: Even the ongoing rift between Black Lives Matter protesters and the police isn't enough for cops to turn on Beyoncé. In January, the Exalted One, Queen Bey herself, performed in a Black Panther-referencing outfit during the Super Bowl Halftime show. A minority of cops across the country expressed some immediate outrage — but nobody got upset quite like Miami Fraternal Order of Police Head (and frequent New Times character) Javier Ortiz, who demanded that his officers refuse to provide security at Beyoncé concerts in South Florida. He also tried to get other departments to join nationwide. Nobody listened to him.

Two months after being shot by a South Miami cop, Michael Gavins still hasn't gotten his car back.
Two months after being shot by a South Miami cop, Michael Gavins still hasn't gotten his car back.
Courtesy of Michael Gavins

3. South Miami Police Shoot an Unarmed Football Star for No Reason, Get Sued: Though Michael Gavins was shot in November 2015, he didn't speak publicly about his case until January of this year — when he accused a South Miami cop with a history of sketchy conduct of shooting him in the back for absolutely no reason. Gavins, a former standout football player at the University of Missouri, said he was pulled over, and — despite saying numerous times that he was unarmed — forced to get out of his car and put his hands on the vehicle's hood. Then, Gavins said he hear a pop, his chest started to sear, and he realized a bullet had torn through his chest without killing him. He's now suing the department.



Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >