On Monday, Charles Kinsey was shot by a North Miami police officer. Our CEO sent this letter to North Miami Mayor Dr. Smith Joseph on behalf of all Miami-Dade County residents.     

Dear Mayor Joseph:

As the community foundation for Miami-Dade County, we have worked for almost 50 years to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls this place home.  The more than 1,000 generous philanthropists, families and organizations we’ve partnered with have enabled us to invest over $230 million into the programs and people meeting critical needs for our residents.

Included in the investments we’ve made in this community, we are privileged to have supported the important work of organizations like the UM Center for Autism & Related Disabilities and Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled (MACtown), which provide nurturing care to Miamians with autism spectrum disorders.  These vital programs optimize the potential of residents with autism and help them weave into the fabric of our society.  The caretakers who have dedicated their lives to this cause should receive the utmost gratitude from ALL Greater Miami citizens – they daily show immense patience and love to a population that otherwise may not receive it.  This is among many reasons why Monday’s shooting of MACtown employee Charles Kinsey was so deeply disturbing to me.

Recent police-involved shootings have been flashpoints in communities across the nation.  We’ve seen outrage pour into city streets as residents demand answers from law enforcement.  While I understand that divulging important details regarding these incidents can compromise an ongoing investigation, police departments have a responsibility to maintain order in their community.  It has been proven time and time again that when department and government leaders are promptly responsive, open and transparent with the people they serve, even in distressing moments, the community remains united, more peaceful and understanding of the necessary role our law enforcement professionals play to preserve a just society.

Yesterday’s abbreviated press conference where city leaders would not take questions from the media does not reflect the transparency North Miami residents and Greater Miamians deserve.  As such, I join with all of Miami-Dade County in demanding to know details about how and why this shocking incident happened in our community.  Further, I would like to know what will be done to ensure a caretaker assisting someone with autism, or any disability, is not harmed in this manner by an officer in your police department again.


Javier Alberto Soto
Former President and CEO

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