MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Protesters plan to march in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding murder convictions for those involved in the deaths of Winston Smith and Deona Knajdek.
The Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J) says the march will begin at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Lake Street and Girard Avenue South in Uptown, where Knajdek was fatally struck in a crash Sunday night.READ MORE: Wisconsin Health Facilities Request Federal Help For Staff And Hospitals
According to investigators, a 35-year-old St. Paul man with a suspended license plowed into a group of protesters, killing Knajdek and injuring three others. The protesters had gathered that night to demonstrate against the fatal police shooting of Smith atop an Uptown parking ramp earlier this month.
Organizers say Wednesday’s March, to be held on what would have been Knajdek’s 32nd birthday, is to demand that the driver involved in the crash be charged and convicted with murder. The group also wants the same charge and conviction for the deputies in the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force who shot Smith.
According to authorities, Smith, a Black man wanted on a weapons charge, fired a gun in a car before the deputies shot him. However, the lawyer for the woman who was with Smith at the time said she didn’t see Smith with a gun.READ MORE: Hennepin Co. Sheriff David Hutchinson Investigated For Potential DWI
The fatal shooting led to nights of protest in the Uptown neighborhood. Following Knajdek’s death, protesters blocked roads in the area with makeshift barricades. While city crews and police have torn down the barricades, they’ve only been reassembled later by protesters.
Protesters who witnessed the crash that killed Knajdek say that the driver sped up in the moments before the collision. TCC4J called the incident an attack and deemed the driver “a white supremacist terrorist.” Authorities think drugs or alcohol may have played a factor; the driver has several DUI convictions.
Among TCC4J’s other demands for Wednesday march are that evidence and footage be released in Smith’s death, any charges brought against protesters be dropped, monetary compensation for towed cars and emotional distress, and the “termination of the media,” which it accuses of lying about both deaths.
The driver involved in the crash that killed Knajdek is in custody. WCCO-TV has not named him as he has yet to be officially charged with a crime.MORE NEWS: Kim Potter Trial, Dec. 8 Live Updates: Daunte Wright's Mother Testifies