Cmdr. Emile Hollant is suing the city of North Miami as well as a host of other officials, including the interim police chief, a year after one of his officers shot a Black, unarmed mental health therapist named Charles Kinsey. Hollant is suing the city of North Miami for $10 million.
Hollant has been on paid administrative leave for over a year. During this time Hollant has not been allowed leave his house during business hours without permission from the city.
Hollant’s attorney, Michael A. Pizzi Jr., alleges that the commander’s career has been destroyed since the incident and Hollant crucified for the sake of political gain.
The controversy surrounds Hollant’s statements in the aftermath of Kinsey’s shooting.
Charles Kinsey was lying on the ground with both hands in the air last year when a trigger-happy cop fired on the compliant man striking him in the leg. Prior to the shooting, Kinsey had been assisting the autistic patient make his way back to MacTown Panther Group Homes. Kinsey was trying to explain to officers that he was trying to calm his patient down when Officer Jonathan Aledda shot him. Aledda claimed to have saw a gun which turned out to be a silver truck in the patient’s hand.
Officers allegedly were responding to a call about a man was in the area with a gun threatening suicide. News reports did not mention if there was a description provided to police matching that of Kinsey’s but Aledda has since been charged.
Hollant is being accused of lying about his whereabouts during the shooting. The North Miami Police internal investigation alleges that Hollant misled police even though the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office found that he told the truth and exonerated him.
Hollant told investigators that he did not see the actual shooting because he went back to grab his binoculars.
So after being cleared by the State Attorney’s Office and FDLE, Hollant remains on paid vacation over some internal investigation/squabble about who dropped the ball.
The Vice Mayor for North Miami, Scott Galvin, has already responded to Hollant’s suit claiming that the city will fight the lawsuit. According to Galvin, Hollant was provided with means to reach a resolution but chose not to do so.
“Commander Hollant was given the opportunity to appeal those decisions, and he didn’t,” said Galvin. “Letting that course run out and then choosing to file a brand-new lawsuit, I can’t begin to guess what his hopes are.”
Galvin is one of many named in the lawsuit.
Commander Hollant and his attorney hosted a press conference Friday announcing the lawsuit. Hollant did not speak allowing his attorney, Pizzi, to handle all the questions.
“The message to North Miami is enough is enough,” Pizzi said. “Today we start the process of making him whole and making sure that he is completely vindicated.”
Pizzi is also alleging lack of due process and discrimination.
“What price do you put on a man’s reputation and a man’s life and destroying his future and humiliating him?” asked Pizzi. “We feel ultimately, at the end of the day, that’ll be up to a jury.”
North Miami City Manager Larry Spring released a statement that reads in part, “Commander Hollant remains on paid administrative leave while we finalize the ‘due process’ he alleges we are circumventing. In fact, we have provided Commander Hollant and his attorneys several opportunities to discuss this employment matter and possible resolutions. We understand all individuals right to sue, so we will now defend the city in this lawsuit, in the same way, we are ironically defending Commander Hollant and other named individuals in the lawsuits filed by the two victims of the shooting incident.”