MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Candles, chalk messages and signs still stood on the parking ramp where Winston Smith was killed and calls from protesters reignited Saturday, demanding more details beyond the initial statement from investigators about the shooting.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that said a U.S. Marshals Task Force shot and killed Winston Smith when he fired a gun from his car during an attempted arrest for a felony firearms violation Thursday. The BCA has not released more updates since the statement about the investigation on the day of the shooting.READ MORE: Winston Smith's Family Holds Vigil, Demands Transparency
Kidale Smith, 31, said he felt like it was a sick joke when he found out about his brother’s death. He and other demonstrators who gathered at the intersection of West Lake Street and Girard Avenue for the third night of protests Saturday night are asking for more evidence, echoing earlier calls for transparency.
“You cannot hide. You can’t hide anymore—claiming you’re U.S. Marshals and the BCA and you can’t release evidence?” Smith said. “You won’t be able to hide for long.”
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in its news release about the shooting said there is no video from body cameras or squad car video because the U.S. Marshal Service “currently does not allow” the use of body cameras for officers serving on the task force—known as the North Star Fugitive Task Force—involved in this incident.
But the Department of Justice changed that policy last fall and allows local law enforcement on federal task forces to “activate a body-worn camera while serving arrest warrants, or during other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota confirmed that as of February of this year, phased-in implementation began, including in Minnesota. It’s unclear where that process stands today.READ MORE: Winston Boogie Smith, 32, ID'd As Man Fatally Shot By Law Enforcement In Uptown Minneapolis
In response to the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bruce Gorden, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety that oversees the BCA said: “As to why that is or why the USMS has not ‘phased in’ the new policy for this task force, you will need to ask them and the U.S. Attorney. That is their decision.”
He stood by the BCA’s initial news release about the event, saying the information came from the U.S. Marshals Service.
“In every officer involved shooting, we report whether the agency uses body cameras or note,” Gordon said in an email. “That’s what we did here.”
The parking ramp is in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis with residential buildings and a rooftop bar across the street. WCCO found one camera on the parking ramp pointed in the direction of where the shooting happened.
WCCO reached out to the company that owns the garage asking if those cameras are active and if there is any footage from Thursday, but has not heard back.
Kidale Smith is asking the public who may have video or witness testimony of the shooting to come forward.
“Somebody’s seen something—I know they did,” Smith said. “There’s too many windows over here and there are too many people at this restaurant. Somebody saw something. Somebody heard something.”