A man, Winston Smith, 32 with multiple warrants out for his arrest was fatally shot on Thursday in Minneapolis after pulling out a handgun while being stopped by police. Riots broke out against police brutality again, due to the race of the man shot.
This instance took place while the city of Minneapolis was removing barriers at the monument that had been erected to honor George Floyd, the man killed by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin last May.
Winston Smith, a Black man, had a warrant out for his arrest after failing to appear in court for a probation violation hearing, which would have sent him to prison. He was on probation for 1st degree aggravated robbery. Smith had a total of 19 prior criminal, traffic, and petty convictions.
The more recent warrant was related to a situation in November 2020 where Smith was found in unlawful possession of a firearm after his prior conviction of aggravated robbery, after failing to appear in court for a probation hearing.
The shooting happened in a parking ramp in Minneapolis at Lake Street and Girard Avenue. The Pioneer Press reported that the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force were involved in trying to apprehend him. After Smith failed to comply with instructions from law enforcement and drew a handgun, officers fired upon him. The officers attempted to resuscitate Smith, but he died at the ramp where the shooting took place.
According to Newsweek, “A statement from the force, issued by a Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, said the suspect was wanted on a gun charge and the marshals were looking to arrest him on a state arrest warrant. The statement did not mention Smith by name or allude to his race.”
At this point no footage has been released. U.S. Marshals Service does not allow the use of body cameras for the North Star Fugitive Force. The family is calling upon the city and law enforcement to release footage from nearby security cameras to help shed some light on the situation. The BCA “recovered a handgun and spent cartridge cases from inside the man’s vehicle, according to the statement.”
The Minneapolis Police Department has issued a statement saying that they were not involved in the shooting.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is still investigating the incident.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Police Tape” by Tony Webster. CC BY-SA 4.0.