Florida Cop who shot Autistic Man’s Caregiver Convicted on Lesser Charge
North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda became the first cop in 30 years to be convicted for an on-duty shooting in Miami-Dade County Monday for shooting an unarmed caregiver with his hands in the air in 2016.
The South Florida jury found Aledda guilty of culpable negligence but found him not guilty of the more serious charge of manslaughter. Had Aledda been convicted of the felony charge, he would have faced up to 66 years in prison.
Aledda will return to court with his attorneys Tuesday for his sentencing which could be up to one year in prison. Earlier this month, Aledda turned down a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail in exchange for pleading guilty to culpable negligence, one year probation and the loss of his law enforcement license for Florida.
Now it appears as if he may be able to retain his law enforcement license despite what sentencing he may receive next week.
On July, 2016, Aledda and other officers responded to a call about a possibly suicidal man. When he arrived at the scene, Aledda found two men in the street, Arnaldo Rios Soto and Charles Kinsey. Soto is autistic and Kinsey was his caretaker, trying to get Soto back into his group home.
Aledda testified he thought Kinsey was in danger, which was why he fired his gun, aiming for Soto but shooting Kinsey instead.
“Nothing can change that. I thought the white male had a gun, that was now loaded, was getting angry at the black male, who he was holding hostage against his will,” Aledda said in court.
But Soto only had a toy truck in his hand, an observation made by the several other officers on the scene with guns drawn who held their fire.
This altercation went viral after footage taken with a cell phone showed Kinsey lying on the ground with his hands raised saying, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”
Aledda’s first trial in March ended in a hung jury. He was found not guilty on one count of negligence, but the jury was deadlocked on the other negligence charge and both counts of attempted manslaughter. According to the jury foreman, most of the jurors wanted to acquit Aledda of all charges.