The trial of a North Miami police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man in 2016 began Thursday.
The officer, Jonathan Aledda, is charged with two felony counts of attempted manslaughter and two misdemeanor charges of culpable negligence for shooting Charles Kinsey in July 2016.
Prosecutors say Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was lying on the ground with his hands up when Aledda and other officers responded to the scene. Next to him was Arnaldo Rios Soto, a man with severe autism, who was in Kinsey’s care.
Officers had responded to the area along 127th Street near Northeast 14th Avenue after getting a call of a man with a gun. It turned out to be Soto holding a toy truck.
"I'm repeating the same exact thing," said Kinsey. "I am unarmed, I Work for the group home, I'm a behavioral therapist. My client, he's unarmed. He has a toy truck in his hand."
Prosecutors say Aledda fired three shots at Kinsey, hitting him once in the thigh. Kinsey recovered from the wound and is suing North Miami for the officer’s use of force. Aledda, who was a four-year veteran and on the city’s SWAT team, has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges he faces and is on leave from the department.
"This trial is about an unarmed and essentially disabled boy with a toy," said Reid Rubin, a prosecutor.
Aledda's defense attorney proclaimed his innonced by arguing police radio and dispatch problems.
"She never puts out or chooses not to put out that he is a mentally ill person, that it might be a gun," said Douglas Hartman, Aledda's defense attorney.
The case will resume on Friday. Rios' family is expected to take the stand next week.