A North Miami police officer who shot the caretaker of a man with autism last summer has been charged with attempted manslaughter, according to officials.
 
The Florida State Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday that is was charging North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda for the July 18, 2016, shooting of Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist who was caring for an autistic patient. Kinsey was unarmed. He survived the incident. Of
 
North Miami police officers went to the scene after receiving a call about a "possibly suicidal" man wielding a "silver weapon in his hand," according to a press release from the state attorney's office. The man in question was a resident patient of the Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled, according to the release. When the resident left the center, Kinsey followed him in "an attempt to return him from the street back into the facility," according to the press release. At the time, the resident was holding a silver-colored toy in his hand.
 
At 152 feet away, Officer Aledda fired three times. One round struck Kinsey. According to the prosecutor’s release, the officer was "not in the position to correctly assess the situation or in a position to accurately fire." In addition, the release stated that two other police officers "were within 20 feet of the situation" when Aledda fired.
 
Aledda is facing a charge of first-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence, in addition to the attempted manslaughter charge. 
 
As seen in a video recording of the incident, before Aledda fired, Kinsey was holding his arms in the area while the autistic patient was sitting on the ground next to him. The charges came as "the result of a lengthy inquiry," according to the state’s attorney. A prosecutorial review of the police investigation was done in addition to meetings between prosecutors and police. 
 
In July 2016, Aledda released a statement through the police union, before his name was released, "I took this job to save lives and help people. I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that and hate to hear others paint me as something I'm not." The Dade County Police Benevolent Association considers the charges against Aledda "problematic in today's culture." 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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