Repercussions to last year’s shooting in North Miami of a male caregiver to an autistic young man continues to reverberate. Last Friday, July 7, the city’s Police Chief Gary Eugene, who was initially suspended, was fired. He has subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the city, city manager and the city’s vice-mayor to be rehired.
Behavioral Therapist shooting
Last July, North Miami officer, and a member of the SWAT team, Jonathan Aledda shot and injured behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey. Kinsey was attending to his 23-year old client, trying to coax from setting in the middle of a North Miami Street. City police indicated Aledda shot Kinsey believing he had a gun, The man had no weapon.
Chief Eugene Suspended
Subsequent to the shooting the city conducted an investigation into the incident. The investigation focused on Police Commander Emile Hollant who was in charge of the scene of the shooting, Chief Eugene was implicated during the investigation and was suspended from duty.
City Manager Larry Spring said during the investigation information gave information that conflicted with that which he gave to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Prior to being fired, the city gave Eugene offered a separation agreement effective on July 7. Declining the separation offer, the chief decided to file the lawsuit. As a result, he was fired on Friday evening.
Eugene’s lawsuit says the city forced him to resign, and fired him, without a clear reason and not allowing him a chance to defend himself. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, financial damages, and Eugene’s reinstatement.
Vice Mayor Scott Galvin, the council member named in the lawsuit. According to reports, Galvin was named because he was the most outspoken council member about the city’s decision to terminate Eugene.
Officer Larry Juriga, the assistant chief, has been appointed interim chief. A national search for the next chief will commence soon, according to the city manager.
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