The last time they were together, Charles Kinsey struck a pose that captured the nation’s attention: Supine in the middle of the road with his hands in the air while begging the man he cared for to do the same.
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Moments later, Kinsey was shot by North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda. Arnaldo Eliud Rios, an unarmed and severely autistic client who Kinsey was trying to protect, was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car for several hours before being released.
On Thursday, for the first time since the July 18 confrontation that was captured on by cellphone video, the two met again. This time at Aventura Hospital, where Rios is recovering from the emotional toll the shooting took on him.
Kinsey, who was struck in the leg by a bullet fired from an assault rifle, spent four days in the hospital, then went home. He returned briefly to get treated when an infection returned.
In the 10 days since the shooting, the only explanation has been that before the officer fired his rifle, he was told that one of the men was loading a weapon. No weapon was found. Rios, 26, who is mostly non-verbal, was playing with a toy truck, not a gun.
Aledda, a member of the North Miami’s SWAT team, has been on administrative leave since the shooting. His commander, Emile Hollant, who sources say told the officer one of the two men was loading a weapon, then denied to investigators that he was at the scene, been suspended without pay.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.
Thursday’s meeting was a private one. The media was only invited afterward when Kinsey said a few words outside the hospital.