Family of Autistic Man at Center of North Miami Police Involved Shooting Files Lawsuit

The family of an autistic man who was at the center of an international firestorm when his unarmed caretaker was shot by North Miami police is taking their case to court.

Family members filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of Arnaldo Rios, the 27-year-old man who was sitting on the ground while his caretaker, Charles Kinsey, lay on the ground with his hands in the air pleading with officers not to shoot during the July 2016 incident.

The federal civil rights lawsuit names the city of North Miami and the five officers involved as defendants, according to the Miami Herald. It claims that police falsely imprisoned Rios, battered and assaulted him while limiting his movement.

According to the lawsuit, Rios – who suffers from severally limited communication skills – was handcuffed for over two and a half hours both on the ground and in a police car during the July 18th incident before being taken to the North Miami Police Department. He was then questioned for another four minutes, answering “yes” to most questions before eventually being released.

Rios grabbed a toy truck from the home where he spent his days called MACtown, which treats the mentally disabled, and left while Kinsey chasing after him. Despite officers being told it was a toy, shots were still fired, striking Kinsey.

The officer who shot Kinsey has been charged with attempted manslaughter. Rios has since been moved to a different part of the state for treatment.

The City of North Miami released a statement in response to the lawsuit:

"The City of North Miami is aware of the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Arnaldo Rios, who was present during the July 18, 2016 shooting of his mental health therapist, by a North Miami Police Officer. While the City of North Miami is aware of the complaint, we have not yet been served. However, once we are served, comments will be limited due to ongoing litigation. Additionally, the City continues to actively investigate the shooting incident internally; and must therefore, remain sensitive to the right to due process afforded to all involved."

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