Latest fatal police shooting of Black man in Minneapolis wasn’t caught on camera, officials say

Killing occurred the same day city authorities began tearing down parts of George Floyd memorial

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Friday 04 June 2021 22:47
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<p>MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 05: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tracey Martin holds her notes during a media briefing on April 5, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. </p>

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 05: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tracey Martin holds her notes during a media briefing on April 5, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The tensions in Minneapolis over racism and policing aren’t going anywhere.

The same day city authorities began tearing down parts of George Floyd Square, a memorial to the unarmed Black man killed by Minneapolis police last spring, county sheriffs deputies shot and killed another Black man in a Minneapolis parking garage.

On Thursday afternoon, officers from local county sheriff’s departments as well as the federal US Marshals service shot a killed a man in a parking ramp in the Uptown section of Minneapolis, after he didn’t comply with commands and reportedly “produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject,” the US Marshals said.

The man, who hasn’t been identified officially but who friends and family said was Winston Boogie Smith, died at the scene. Glass debris injured a woman who was in the car.

Authorities from the Minnesota state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is leading an investigation into the shooting, said on Friday there is no dashboard or body camera video of the incident, and added that "evidence at the scene indicates that the man fired his own weapon from inside the vehicle."

Deputies from two different departments, the Ramsey and Hennepin county sheriffs offices, fired into the car, the BCA added.

The law enforcement groups were working together on the US Marshals’s North Star fugitive task force, and the Marshals have described Mr Smith as a “fugitive” in previous statements. Authorities were reportedly pursuing him because of a felony in possession of a firearm offence.

The Minneapolis Police Department said it wasn’t involved in the shooting.

Protesters quickly took to the streets following the shooting, the latest in a string of police killings of Black men in recent years including Daunte Wright and George Floyd, with grief and anger about one death barely subsiding before another one occurs. Though Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck, was convicted of murder this April, many in the community say the city hasn’t changed many of the underlying structures that cause so many of its people of colour to face police violence.

Friends and family of Winston Boogie Smith said he was a musician who performed under the name Wince Me Boi and had built a local following appearing in comedy videos.

Minnesotans learned of the killing the same day that city authorities began taking down parts of George Floyd Square, a memorial and community space that has served as the site of protests, gatherings, mobile health clinics, and a community garden among much more since Mr Floyd was killed at the intersection last May.

Community members quickly reinstalled makeshift barriers blocking traffic from passing over the spot, and vowed not to relent until the city met a list of 24 demands related to police reform and community investment.

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