Protests at North Miami Police Department Over Man's Shooting

There were tense moments at the North Miami Police Department Thursday evening after demonstrators gathered to protest the shooting of an unarmed black man by an officer.

Protesters shouted in anger over the recent shooting of Charles Kinsey while entering the lobby of the building before they were asked to leave by officers.

The exit was peaceful but tense, as protesters chanted "Whose streets? Our Streets."

Police kept the calm and tried to answer the crowd.

"If you ask any specifics about the case I cannot answer," North Miami Police spokesperson Natalie Buissereth told members of the crowd.

Kinsey, a caregiver at a nearby group home for mentally disabled adults, was left hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his leg after the encounter Monday. He had found one of the residents, who is severely autistic, sitting in the middle of the street, holding a toy truck.

Police said officers responded to the scene after they received a 911 call of an armed man threatening suicide. Cell phone video showed Kinsey had his hands up as officers stood behind light poles nearby. Moments later, Kinsey was shot in the leg. Police confirmed Thursday that no weapon was found at the scene.

"We at least want to be respected enough so that when we do get shot done unjustly by police they're held accountable and not given a paid vacation, they're not protected and hid behind the walls of the police department," protester Dominique Colas said.

Earlier Thursday, Miami-Dade Police Union President John Rivera gave an explanation, saying the officer was trying to protect Kinsey from the autistic man, who appeared to be a threat.

"The movement of the white individual looked like he was getting ready to discharge a firearm into Mr. Kinsey and the officer discharged trying to strike and stop the white male and unfortunately he missed the white male and shot Mr. Kinsey by accident," Rivera said.

"I think it's a bogus explanation, I think it's not acceptable, it's an excuses and excuses of tools of incompetence," protester Ade Abisogun said.

Kinsey left the hospital Thursday evening. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy.

The office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez released a statement, saying the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the case and would turn over their findings once it was complete.

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