Charles Kinsey Shooting

On March 20 2019, the following screenshot and text (archived here) was publicly shared on Facebook, accruing a six-figure share count in under a week:

Charles Kinsey is his FUCKING NAME.

Edit: the officer who shot him is Jonathon Aledda

In the screenshot was a March 15 2019 Facebook post (archived here), which accrued a fraction of that number of shares:

In the post linked first above, the sharer added that the man on the ground’s name was Charles Kinsey, and the officer who fired was Jonathan Aledda. The original sharer stated that the “man on the ground with his hands up is a social worker… begging the police not to shoot his autistic patient who wouldn’t put down his toy truck.” The original poster said that the officer involved was acquitted on the day it was posted, which was March 15 2019.

On July 20 2016, the Miami Herald reported on the shooting:

When a 23-year-old autistic man carrying a toy truck wandered from a mental health center out into the street Monday, a worker there named Charles Kinsey went to retrieve him.

A few minutes later the autistic man was still sitting cross-legged blocking the roadway while playing with the small, rectangular white toy. And Kinsey was prone on the ground next to him — a bullet from an assault rifle fired by a police officer having struck his leg … Cellphone video footage obtained by [attorney Hilton] Napoleon clearly shows the heavy-set autistic man sitting and playing with his toy while Kinsey, dressed in a yellow shirt and shorts, obeys police orders to lie down on his back.

The video, taken before the officer fired his weapon, shows Kinsey on his back with his hands in the air telling police he didn’t have a weapon and asking them not to fire. At one point the autistic man appears to yell at Kinsey to shut up. A second brief video shows officers who are carrying rifles physically patting down Kinsey and the autistic man while they are lying on the ground.

A cell phone video of the incident was published to YouTube on July 20 2016:

The first of the two 2019 Facebook posts was shared on March 15 2019. One day later, the Chicago Tribune published a report about the trial for Jonathan Aledda, the officer who fired at Kinsey. All but one juror voted for acquittal, and prosecutors were left to deliberate whether to retry Aledda:

Testifying in his own defense, North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda insisted he honestly mistook an autistic man holding a silver toy truck for a gunman holding another man hostage. The soft-spoken officer said he had no choice but to fire three bullets, accidentally hitting Charles Kinsey, the supposed hostage.

One sole juror did not believe Aledda.

The other five voted to acquit Aledda of all four charges in a case that garnered international headlines amid intense scrutiny on U.S. police shootings. But after a full day of deliberation, jurors on Friday could not reach a unanimous verdict on three of the four counts, leaving a Miami-Dade judge to declare a mistrial.

The jury did acquit Aledda of one misdemeanor count of culpable negligence for shooting at the autistic man, Arnaldo Rios Soto.

Miami-Dade prosecutors must now decide whether to retry Aledda on two counts of felony attempted manslaughter and one count of culpable negligence. While not an outright victory, Aledda’s camp was buoyed, knowing they were so close to an acquittal.


The hung jury in the Aledda case came three years after the July 2016 shooting, which unfolded against the backdrop of a series of controversial killings of black men by police around the United States. The shooting also roiled North Miami, leading to the ousting of the city’s police chief and the firing of the commander on the scene.

Although Kinsey was shot in Florida in July 2016, the officer involved, Jonathan Aledda, was tried for the shooting in March 2019. That month, the trial ended in a hung jury, and whether Miami prosecutors would retry him was unknown. As the original post correctly stated, Aledda was not convicted on the day the post and image were shared.