The Black community took yet another major hit this past week after news reports revealed that a Black behavioral therapist, Charles Kinsey, was shot by a Miami police officer while lying on his back with his hands in the air. Since then, hordes of celebrities have spoken up about the apparent racism in our legal system and the police brutality that is leaving countless Black men and women dead. But for one celebrity in particular, Holly Robinson Peete, the story of Kinsey’s shooting hits close to home and now she’s doubly afraid for her son’s life.
As previously reported, the shooting happened on Monday when Kinsey, who works at a group home for the disabled, was trying to calm down one of his autistic patients who had walked out of the home. A witness called 911 and claimed that the autistic man had a gun. However, video shows that the man actually had a toy truck. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop a group of police officers who arrived on the scene from pulling their guns on both Kinsey and the autistic patient.
Kinsey lay down on the ground with his hands in the air and tried to calm down his patient and assure the cops that neither he nor the patient was a threat. However, a Miami officer still decided to shoot a defenseless and cooperative Kinsey in the leg as he lay on the ground. Kinsey claims that when he asked the officer why he shot him, the officer replied, “I don’t know.”
Understandably, millions around the country are outraged about this senseless police shooting. But for Robinson Peete, this shooting resonates on an even more personal level because her own 18-year-old son, RJ Peete, has autism. Recently, Robinson Peete posted a older, powerful clip from her reality show “For Peete’s Sake,” in which she and her husband, Rodney Peete, sat down with RJ and explained to him what to do to stay safe and alive if he ever has an encounter with the police.
Robinson Peete captioned the video with a heartbreaking message about how watching footage of Kinsey’s encounter with the police was like watching her worst nightmare play out in front of her.
“After watching the situation in Florida, I decided to repost this scene from #ForPeetessake where we had one of many talks with our son who has autism about navigating law enforcement cues. Kids with autism process differently and that video is my true real life nightmare. … I cannot tell you how tearful I was watching 2 unarmed men — one with autism and one his therapist — with guns trained on them. … The therapist with arms raised was shot and thankfully not fatally. But WHY???!!! EVERYONE should take issue with this. The Miami police department should accept accountability and then and ONLY then will we feel someone hears us. Despicable.”
Our heart breaks for all Black parents who fear for their children’s lives in the face of police brutality and we hope for justice as well.
But Peete’s comments didn’t end there. Read what else she had to say on Instagram about her fear for her son after the cut.