In audio recorded during a Florida Department of Law Enforcement interview with North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene in the aftermath of the Charles Kinsey shooting in July, 2016, Eugene outlined some troubling things about his department.
Eugene who took over as the North Miami Police Chief six days before the shooting of Kinsey made his department sound like a more crooked version of the Keystone Cops.
Some highlights from the audio obtained by the Miami New Times:
The cop who shot Kinsey knew the autistic kid was holding a toy and not a gun
“I [Chief Eugene] heard the shooter, Officer Aledda, make a statement to the nature of, ‘Be advised, I have clear shot [at] subject. Later on, a sergeant … got on the air and said, ‘I have a visual, it is a toy. Is it a toy? QRX.’ That means, ‘Stand by, don’t do anything.’ Then, there is a conversation back and forth. The next transmission was by [another officer saying] ‘Shot fired!’”
The North Miami police are horribly trained
“The scene was a mess, to be honest with you… People were walking all over the place. Thank God [Kinsey] did not die. I realized I have a problem with the training of my staff. We’re talking about some 15- or 16-year veterans, but in North Miami, a 15- or 16-year veteran may have less experience than a two-year cop in Miami.”
Some of the cops don’t like each other very much
“I find out that that commander who got suspended and Angel Rivera, who was the commander at the scene- they don’t like each other, it is dangerous… I realized there is so much animosity among them that anything I say can be used for the officer against the officer.”
Chief Eugene was worried that his department couldn’t fairly investigate the shooting
“They were more concerned about clearing the officer of any wrong doing than actually conducting an impartial investigation… I realized the chemistry of what was going on. At that time I decided not to talk to anyone…because I have a better picture of what is going on in my department… it is sad but it is the reality.”
City Manager Larry Spring refused to listen to Eugene
“I said, ‘City Manager, I’m telling you, listen to this CD and make a decision based on this CD,'” Eugene said. “[Spring] slapped his hand on the desk and said, ‘You don’t understand what I’m telling you. Get control of your people!'”
Assistant Chief Larry Juriga lied to Eugene
From the Miami New Times story:
“Eugene said he immediately went to Spring and City Attorney Jeff Cazeau with the information. They all agreed to suspend Hollant. But on the drive home, Eugene had second thoughts. He recalled that Juriga and Hollant didn’t get along, so he decided to listen to the audio from the shooting himself. That’s when he realized Juriga had lied.”
The State Attorney’s Office is “Very Close” to coming to a decision on whether to indict Jonathan Aledda
Ed Griffith, a spokesman for Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office, told the Miami New Times that, “we are very close to coming to a decision” in the case.
A RISE NEWS investigation previously found that the cop who shot Kinsey had not been properly trained for how to deal with people who have developmental disabilities.
In fact, the North Miami police department does not any “specific policies” in terms of how its officers interact with people with disabilities, including autism.
Aledda shot unarmed therapist Charles Kinsey three times in the leg in a North Miami street. Kinsey was in the street trying to help an autistic patient.
Listen to the full interview: