A young black man named Winston “Boogie” Smith was shot and killed during an attempt by US Marshals to arrest him on a felony firearms warrant in a parking garage in the Uptown district of Minneapolis. No Minneapolis police were involved in the incident, yet rioters took to the streets, looting and demanding "justice" and attacking whites. Slogans to kill the police were spotted on the streets.
Smith allegedly pulled a gun and fired at the arresting officers, and deputies from two neighbouring counties returned fire, killing him. A female companion in his vehicle was wounded by glass shards. After the shooting, protesters gathered in the street outside the parking garage, and when night fell they began burning dumpsters and looting, with dozens of buildings vandalized.
“Evidence at the scene indicates that the man fired his weapon from inside the vehicle. BCA crime scene personnel recovered a handgun as well as spent cartridge cases from inside the driver’s compartment,” the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement, clarifying the action taken by the Marshals.
A police officer is typically a general-purpose law enforcement officer with a specific jurisdiction and cannot work outside their town or city, while a US Marshal is a much more specific job. Marshals provide security for courts at the local, state, and federal level. They serve subpoenas, take people into custody and they are responsible for transporting criminals to correctional facilities.
Smith’s family now claims he was trying to “turn over a new leaf,” and law enforcement was “using his past to tarnish his character”. His family issued a statement demanding justice. The Washington Post suggested that this was another “death of a Black person at the hands of police”.
A third night of violence was witnessed in response to the fatal shooting on Thursday. Minneapolis and Saint Paul area were experiencing a prolonged period of protests and unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death for which Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged.
A video of an unresponsive white man – not a police officer – has been circulating on social media showing that he had been the victim of a racial aggression.
Smith had been convicted previously of aggravated robbery and sentenced to a 48-month prison term, but was released on parole instead of serving more time in jail. He had successfully fled in his car from police in Bloomington, Minnesota, who attempted to arrest him in 2020 on several warrants, and was facing a September 2021 hearing related to the high-speed chase from that incident. He also had a felony conviction in Ramsey County for firearm possession and missed a May 19, 2021, sentencing hearing that could have resulted in prison time.
Smith had called for warfare against police. A year prior to the June 3, 2021, incident, Smith had boasted on social media posts that he would shoot police officers and not surrender.
Postmillenial reporter Andy Ngo commented on Twitter that an “autonomous zone” in Minneapolis was meanwhile being dismantled. “City crews in Minneapolis have began to dismantle the George Floyd autonomous zone after more than a year. The barricaded area was the staging ground for shootings. Three people, including a pregnant woman, were murdered at that BLM-Antifa autonomous zone.”
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