For the second day in a row, a group of protesters confronted officers in Minneapolis, protesting the death of an African-American man at the hands of US law enforcement officials.
The vigil for the downcast man, Winston Boogie Smith Jr.The 32-year-old ended with garbage fires in the street and a line of officers standing guard. It was the second night of protests in response to the shooting fatal Thursday in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. Authorities reported yesterday that Smith was wanted for a firearms offense.
At a time of extreme tension in Minneapolis, one year after the death of George Floyd under the knee of an officer, Smith’s death sparked outrage among several people and led to violent protests.
Local sources reported that many people vandalized buildings and robbed businesses after Thursday’s shooting. Nine people were arrested on possible charges including riot, assault, arson and property damage.
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According to local authorities, the 32-year-old man opened fire before two officers shot him while he was inside a parked vehicle with a woman. As a result of the shooting, Smith died at the scene and his companion had to be assisted for injuries caused by the car windows.
Members of the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force were trying to arrest him with a warrant for considering him a felon in possession of a weapon.
For its part, the Minnesota Office of Criminal Detention said Friday that two sheriffs, one from Hennepin County and one from Ramsey County, fired their guns and struck Smith. State investigators also said evidence indicates that the man fired his weapon, as they said they found a pistol and a spent cartridge inside the car.
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Family and friends described Smith as a father of three who was routinely harassed by the police. Shelly Hopkins, who was in a long-term relationship with him, said: “I wasn’t there. I don’t know exactly what happened. But I know him. And he didn’t deserve that … He had the best heart of anyone I’ve ever met in my life. “
Those close to Smith are demanding transparency in the investigation and have asked for anyone who may have video footage of the fatal confrontation with security forces to come forward.