Miami-Dade NAACP Branch

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Miami-Dade NAACP Branch | P. O. Box 54315 | Opa Locka, FL 33054
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Statement on the Police Shooting of Charles Kinsey

Miami-Dade Branch

National Association For The Advancement of Colored People

P.O. Box 540315 - Opa Locka, Florida 33054

Dr. Shirley B Johnson President

July 22, 2016


Statement on the Police Shooting of Charles Kinsey

The Miami Dade NAACP is outraged once again over a needless shooting by police of an African American man, Mr. Charles Kinsey, who was not armed and in this case following text-book instructions on how to behave when confronted by police, and it did not matter!  As Renee Graham wrote in the Boston Globe, “We can now add “taking care of an autistic man while Black” to the ballooning list of mundane things African American do that may be met with lethal force.”

On July 21, Ruban Roberts, Chair of the Miami Dade NAACP’s Committee on Criminal Justice convened an emergency committee meeting to re-double its efforts to achieve a fair justice system.  Senior people from the US Department of Justice, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office for Miami Dade briefed the attendees.  Mr. Robert’s said that the attendees were angered and wanted answers and they were frustrated but committed to seeking solutions.

President Shirley Johnson just returning from the National NAACP Convention said these issues were at the top of the National NAACP Agenda and thus the Miami efforts will get the support it needs to move on this issue.

The video is self-explanatory.  The newspaper reports that several officers responded to a report that a man with a gun was threatening suicide.  Experienced officers know that eye witness accounts citing the presence of a weapon are often inaccurate (as the NAACP has found from reading police reports). Thus such reports should be read as “might” have a gun and thus require caution but not shooting without verification.  In this case Mr. Kinsey with his hands in the air was reported as calling out that all the man he was helping had was a toy truck!  The reports say that several officers responded yet only one felt the need to fire his weapon.  Incredulously the Union spokesperson is reported to have said that the officer was trying to save Mr. Kinsey by firing at the autistic man with a toy truck when he missed and hit Mr. Kinsey.  If this is true why was Mr. Kinsey reported to have been placed in handcuffs and had to wait 20 minutes on the ground before medics arrived?

The NAACP’s efforts along with partners such as the ACLU, PULSE, and the Haitian Grass Roots Coalition for effective civilian oversight is now focusing on having Miami Dade re-institute the Independent Review Panel which was defunded several years ago.  That body was also available to be used by municipalities with additional involvement of the city in which a complaint was occurred. We urge the County Commission to move rapidly to re-instate the IRP and for North Miami and other smaller cities to utilize it. We urge the City of Miami to continue to strengthen its Citizens Investigative Panel and to cooperate fully with the Federal Monitor on the use of deadly force.

We call on all departments to implement both body and gun cameras. 

We call for increased training including de-escalation and implicit bias as well as dealing with individuals with developmental disabilities and the mentally ill..

We call on all agencies to strengthen their pre-hiring screening to eliminate those unfit to be a sound police officers such as the former and one present Miami Dade School Police Officers who made racist posts on Facebook.

We call on the Department of Justice to routinely investigate such shooting cases as Mr. Kinsey’s and the police departments where they occur.

Finally, we call on the State Attorney’s office to expand its efforts in cases of police shootings so it won’t be another quarter of a century before a police officer is charged.


Miami-Dade NAACP Branch | P. O. Box 54315 | Opa Locka, FL 33055 |