Black Lives Matter Stage Sit-In, File Complaints At North Miami Police Station

Jul 26, 2016

Dozens of protesters filed into the North Miami police department wearing all black.

 

For the second time in days, community members and activists took their protest to the police department's lobby after Charles Kinsey, an unarmed black man, was shot in the leg.

Black Lives Matter Miami staged a peaceful sit-in and requested to file formal complaints against Officer Jonathan Aledda.

Aledda shot Kinsey, a behavior therapist who was trying to get an autistic client back to the group home he wandered away from.

Christopher Meeks, one of the protesters,  read his complaint out loud before filing it with the police department.

“ I would like to see Officer Jonathan Aledda not only  fired, but indicted in regards to the misuse of his firearm when firing on Charles Kinsey,” he said.

North Miami police officers received and processed the complaints from protesters.

Police spokeswoman Natalie Buisserreth said the complaints will be handed over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement which is investigating the shooting.

Christopher Meeks writes out his concerns about the Charles Kinsey shooting.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

Initially, protesters were told they would not be able to file complaints by a man working at the station counter. He said their concerns were not “complaints,” but Buissereth disagreed.

She handed out notepaper to the protesters who were then allowed to meet with an officer individually to log a formal complaint.

“People are upset, people are angry. They want their voices to be heard so let’s assist them,” said Buisserreth.

The department created a barricaded  “First Amendment Zone” outside of the police station that included a podium, tent and water bottles for protesters, but no one used it.

Umi Selah, a member of the Dream Defenders, told the protesters this was not the end, they will continue to organize and show up.

In an interview with a local TV station. Charles Kinsey said  when he asked the officers why he shot him, the officer responded, “I don’t know.”

Selah said this “inadequate response” is why protesters will continue to push for answers.

“'I don’t know' is a response to, 'Do you know if it’s going to rain today?' 'I don’t know' is not a response to when you shoot somebody with their hands up.”