Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has changed her 24 year reputation for not charging law enforcement officers for on-duty shootings. On April 12, 2017, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced it has charged North Miami SWAT Officer Jonathan Aledda with felony attempted manslaughter and misdemeanor culpable negligence. Aledda shot Charles Kinsey, an unarmed Black man, on July 8, 2016. Kinsey is a therapist for a group home and was trying to help an autistic man, Arnaldo Rios-Soto, to get out of the street and return to the group home.
A bystander called 911 and said Rios-Soto might have been holding a gun. That caller also repeated several times that the person holding something to his head appeared to be mentally ill. Factually, Rios-Soto was holding a toy truck.
A cell-phone video captured Kinsey lying on his back with his arms in the air, stating who he is, his job, that Arnaldo Rios-Soto is his patient, that he did not have a gun, and begging officers not to shoot.
Investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) included taking statements of police witnesses. The Miami New Times obtained audio from North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene’s testimony to Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators. That testimony revealed that Eugene said his officers announced over police radio that Rios-Soto was holding a toy before Aledda shot Kinsey. Read the rest of this entry
On March 19, 2012, Robert Zimmerman Sr. met with Investigator Jim Merck of the State’s Attorney Office, and Dale Crosby of the Florida Department of Law enforcement (FDLE). Robert Zimmerman Sr. is George Zimmerman’s father. Papa Zim’s statements reveal that by solely relying on his belief that it was George’s screams heard on the 911 tape, and that George had a broken nose, that the investigation should be closed.
When asked by the Investigator and FDLE officer if there was anything else Robert Zimmerman Sr. wanted to tell them or if there were any questions he had for them that they could answer, Robert Zimmerman Sr. replied,
“Not unless you can make all this end.”
As he continued to talk, Robert Zimmerman Sr. conveyed to the investigators what their decision should be, and how it should be presented to the public. Effectively, he suggested to them that someone, from some office should stand up and say what the investigation reveals rather than only saying that no charges are being brought. His suggestion was that by revealing the results of the investigation, it would prevent complaints that the Sanford Police Department and State of Florida cannot be trusted.
On March 19, 2012 when Robert Zimmerman Sr. spoke those words, he was well aware, and informed by the investigators at that meeting, that the investigation was on-going and had not concluded. Papa Zim’s suggestion effectively told the investigators to make-up findings (or rely solely on him saying GZ is innocent), so that no charges would be brought against GZ.