The Latest: Union Head Says Officer Aimed for Disabled Man

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the police shooting of an unarmed black mental health worker in North Miami (all times local):

8:45 a.m.

The head of the Miami Police Benevolent Association says the North Miami police officer who shot an unarmed black mental health worker was actually aiming at the man’s autistic patient who was sitting next to him.

John Rivera told local news outlets the officer is a decorated 30-year-old Hispanic who’s also on the SWAT team. His name wasn’t released. The police department also identified the officer by age and race on a fact sheet published on its Facebook page.

Rivera says the admission is intended to help calm the fears of a nation that’s seen a number of cellphone videos of police shooting black men. He says the officer fired three times, wounding 47-year-old Charles Kinsey.

The shooting happened Monday as Kinsey said he was trying to coax the autistic man back to a group home he had wandered away from. Police responded to reports of a man with a gun threatening to kill himself. No weapon was found and an investigation continues.

___

3:15 a.m.

A witness to this week’s police shooting of an unarmed black therapist says he tried to warn officers the autistic man sitting with the therapist was holding a toy truck.

Thomas Matthews says he watched the buildup to Monday’s shooting of Charles Kinsey by North Miami police officers through binoculars. He said he tried to tell an officer the object they seemed concerned about as the men sat in an intersection was a toy truck but she told him to get back. The officers fired three times, hitting Kinsey in the leg. He is recovering.

Kinsey said he was trying to coax the autistic man back to a home he had wandered from. Police said they had responded to reports of a man with a gun threatening to kill himself. No weapon was recovered. Authorities are investigating the shooting.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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