MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Nearly a month after the deadly law enforcement shooting of Winston Smith in Minneapolis, lawyers for the woman who was in the car with him that day announced plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against all the agencies involved.
Norhan Askar’s attorneys described what she says happened when a U.S. Marshals Task Force was trying to arrest the 32-year-old.
“Our client complied with their commands, scared for her life. Mr. Smith had a mobile device and began to Facebook Live. As he raised his phone, all Ms. Askar could hear was gunfire and saw Mr. Smith’s body slump over,” said Attorney Christopher Nguyen.
Nguyen repeated during the press conference that Askar did not see Smith with a gun.
“Our client never saw a gun in the car and to be clear, she never saw Winston Smith in possession of a gun,” he said.
Askar did not speak during the press conference on Thursday; lawyers cited her desire to remain private.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Smith fired his gun during the deadly encounter. Two weeks ago, investigators released search warrants which said investigators found a gun in Smith’s SUV.
The documents say they also recovered a half-dozen bullet casings from inside his car.
There is no body camera video of the shooting. Since the deputies involved were working undercover with the task force, authorities say their names will not be released.
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