The Department of Justice is investigating the North Miami Police Department for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act stemming from the shooting of Charles Kinsey in July.
The DOJ notified the North Miami PD on Monday of their decision to investigate the police force and asked for a series of documents to be handed over to them within three weeks.
According to the Miami Herald, the DOJ has requested the following from North Miami:
“-The names of each police officer that 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 that were filed in the last five years
-Several other documents showing the department’s policies on force, crisis de-escalation and dealing with people with disabilities”
In an email sent to constituents, North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin said that the city would be pushing to have all officers wear body cameras by March of 2017 and that the police has purchased 18 “bean bag rifles”, which can be used in situations where “less-lethal” force is needed.
North Miami will issue an RFP for body cameras next month. It is expected the City Council will choose a vendor in January 2017 and the cameras will be in place by March 2017.
The investigation started in the aftermath of the shooting of unarmed therapist Charles Kinsey by a North Miami police officer.
Kinsey was shot three times in the leg, but the Miami-Dade Police Union President said that Kinsey’s autistic patient was the intended target of the bullets.
The officer who shot Kinsey, Jonathan Aledda was apparently aiming at Kinsey’s autistic patient according to the Miami-Dade police union president.
The shooting made national headlines and brought the issue of racial bias and violence against disabled people into the fore.
A public records request from RISE NEWS found that the North Miami police department does not have any “specific policies” in terms of how its officers interact with people with disabilities, including autism.
Read the full letter sent to the North Miami PD from the DOJ
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Cover Photo Credit: Rich Robinson/ RISE NEWS