In 2016, we saw footage of caretaker Charles Kinsey and Arnaldo Rios-Soto being approached by a group of police, resulting in Kinsey being shot after laying on the ground with his hands in the air. The officer who shot Kinsey, Jonathan Aledda, just had one of his charges overturned by the South Florida appeals court, reported CNN.
Aledda’s conviction for misdemneaor culpable negligence was overturned by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, reported CNN. His charge were considered invalid because prosecutors did not allow a SWAT commander who trained Aledda to testify in the June 2019 trial.
In a statement emailed to CNN, Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the decision is “disappointing to all who believed that this shooting incident was unnecessary and incorrect.” The office may ask the appeals court for a re-hearing, the statement continued.
Eric Schwartzreich and Anthony Bruno, attorneys for Aledda, told CNN, “We look forward to the State dropping the charges or in the alternative to Mr. Aledda being found not guilty.”
“He took the shots because he believed that a hostage was in danger,” Schwartzreich and Bruno said in a statement.
Aledda was one out of 13 officers who responded to the July 2016 incident. Rios-Soto, who has developmental disabilities, was in the middle of an intersection playing with a toy while Kinsey tried to bring him back inside. CNN reported the toy was a silver truck but officers responded after a bystander reported it may have been a gun.
When officers arrived, Kinsey laid on the ground with his hands raised to signal he was nonthreatening and announcing he was a caretaker. Aledda shot at Rios-Soto three times and hit Kinsey in the hip. In 2017, Aledda was charged with attempted manslaughter, one misdemeanor of culpable negligence for shooting Kinsey and one for endangering Rios-Soto, per CNN’s report.
Aledda was acquitted of his other culpable negligence charges and manslaughter charges in 2019, reported CNN.