North Miami’s police department is under review by the U.S. Department of Justice after July’s police-involved shooting of Charles Kinsey.
The department notified the city and Police Chief Gary Eugene on Monday that they are reviewing the case for potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, was shot by police officer Jonathan Aledda as Kinsey was attempting to care for his patient, 26-year-old Arnaldo Eliud Rios Soto, who suffers from autism, schizophrenia and an intellectual disability.
“The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice, through the disability rights section, to initiate investigations and compliance reviews, make findings of fact and conclusions of law, and attempt to negotiate voluntary resolutions if it finds a violation,” the department’s letter said.
The city has about three weeks to provide information related to the incident including:
▪ The names of each police officer who responded to the incident;
▪ Any documents showing disciplinary actions against police staff;
▪ All investigative records in the case;
▪ All excessive force complaints filed against the city’s police officers in the last five years;
▪ Several other documents showing the department’s policies on force, crisis de-escalation and dealing with people with disabilities.
The shooting thrust the city into a national spotlight after cellphone video of the incident was released, and has since led to additional crisis intervention training and plans to purchase police body cameras.
Kinsey filed a federal lawsuit against Aledda and the department in August claiming that he was wrongfully arrested and that police used excessive force.
The case is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Aledda has been placed on paid leave.
After the shooting, Rios Soto was traumatized and continued to have nightmares, according to his mother, Gladys Soto. Rios was initially placed in the Aventura Hospital psychiatric ward and later moved to a Central Florida facility for people with complex behavioral problems.