The problem with trying to get race relations to settle is that they don’t ever get a chance to rest. The latest video hitting the circuit is of a man in Florida, hands way up in the air, getting shot. What was his crime? He was a man working alongside an autistic man and doing his job by trying to get the patient up off the ground.
The problem with the growing distrust of African-Americans is that there is also a growing mistrust of the police. Like turning the heat up about one hundred degrees, things go from calm to intense in 0 point three seconds, and before anyone knows it, bullets are flying, and videos are being broadcast across social media sites.
The latest video is another blip of a scenario. The problem is that although watching it, no one can really understand what is going through the minds of those involved unless they were standing in the heat of the battle wondering what to do. With cops being assaulted across the nation and African-American men watching their cohorts being shot, no one is sure who is on who’s side and if anyone is safe anymore at all.
The media has created a hotbed of paranoia and insecurity that is leading to an epidemic in our courts and on our television screens. Hilton Napoleon, the attorney for the latest shooting victim in Florida, said on Monday after releasing tapes of the incident that there was absolutely no justification for the cop’s actions. Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, working with his client, was doing nothing but assisting the man who he was supposed to be in charge of and was shot for it.
Within the confines of the assisted living center where Kinsey worked, you can plainly see a man who is lying on his back with his arms up, way up, in the air. Next to him was the patient who he was trying to assist. A resident with autism, he took flight after the man put his hands up. The only thing that was in the autistic man’s hands at the time was a toy truck. Pronouncing “I am a behavioral therapist,” which can clearly be heard on the video, he instructs the man with autism to stay still, worried about his safety.
Napoleon maintains that this is not a case where there is doubt about what happened in the scenario. What you can plainly see in the video is a man with his arms up in the air, literally, hands up don’t shoot, laying on his back in submission.
The toy that is in the autistic man’s hands, Napoleon further comments, can not even be misconstrued as a gun. It is clearly a truck and nothing more. There was no clear and present danger or even mistaken threat that could have been perceived from the situation. There was absolutely no threat or justification for his client to find himself on the receiving end of a bullet to the leg.
The police involved in the incident testify that they had received a call via 911 that there was a man who was threatening suicide with a gun pointed at their head. At some point during the scene, after the officers arrived, one of the policemen shot Kinsey in the leg, and he was brought to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury. No gun was found at the scene or even thought to be present.
Napoleon and his colleague, a personal Injury Lawyer Boston, believes that the worst part about the shooting is not going to be healing from the incident. Kinsey is already well on the mend physically. What the real damage is, is in the psyche not only of how Kinsey will conduct his dealings with police in the future but how Floridians already suspect of the police, will conduct themselves going forward. It is likely to turn up the paranoia on both sides and further the perpetual cycle that has already been set in motion.
There was simply no justification for what happened in any real terms. No threat being apparent, it seems to be a ridiculous ending to a scenario that wasn’t dangerous until those who were supposed to protect people showed up. That is the real problem.
The North Miami Police Department along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will work with the state attorney’s office to investigate the details of the incident and to find resolution in the matter. One thing is for sure unless we can go an entire week without these sort of high-profile incidents, things will not calm down anytime soon.