More than six months after a North Miami commander was suspended following last July’s police-involved shooting of Charles Kinsey, an unarmed therapist working with his client, the officer has served notice he plans to take legal action against the city.
Police Cmdr. Emile Hollant has remained suspended since the shooting. He was initially suspended without pay for giving conflicting statements to police investigators. But last August the state attorney’s office determined that he didn’t mislead the command staff or investigators and his pay was reinstated.
Hollant’s attorney, Michael Joseph, thinks the memo outlining the state attorney’s finding is proof enough that Hollant should be given his full-time job back and has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, another with the Miami-Dade ethics commission and a notification that he plans to sue the city.
“We want the city to do the right thing and to put him back on the job,” Joseph said.
Hollant’s suspension was announced at a press conference a few days after Kinsey was shot by Officer Jonathan Aledda, who remains suspended without pay. At the time, city leaders said that Hollant gave misinformation to police investigators when he told them he had not witnessed the shooting.
Ultimately, the state attorney found that Hollant was not lying; he didn’t see the shooting take place because he had returned to his squad car to get his binoculars.
City leaders have maintained that a final decision on reinstating Hollant would come only after they received the Florida Department of Law Enforcement report on the shooting and conducted an additional review.
The city received that report in December and said the review process could take up to six months.
“Mr. Hollant still has his job and he’s on paid administrative leave while we go through the investigation,” City Manager Larry Spring said.
However, Joseph argues that Hollant’s situation should still remain separate from the overall case and that the city used him as a “fall guy.”
“It seems that they’re using this investigation, which is focused on Aledda, to not to give this guy his job back,” Joseph said.
Kinsey, an unarmed behavioral therapist, was shot as he tended to his client, Arnaldo Eliud Soto Rios, 26, who has autism, schizophrenia and an intellectual disability. The incident was captured on video and became a national news story that sparked local protests.