Protests hit Minneapolis for third night after fatal shooting of Winston Smith

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Demonstrators took to the streets of Minneapolis for a third straight night of unrest late Saturday, protesting the death of a wanted man in an alleged gun battle with US Marshals.

The crowd converged on the Uptown Minneapolis block where Winston Boogie Smith, 32, was fatally shot outside a parking garage on Thursday, chanting and scrawling anti-police slogans on the street and exterior of a restaurant, according to local outlets including the Star Tribune newspaper.

Smith, a rapper and father of two, was wanted in neighboring Ramsey County for failing to appear for a sentencing hearing last month, at which he was set to learn his punishment after pleading guilty to felony firearms possession.

When members of a US Marshals task force spotted and approached Smith around 2 p.m. Thursday, he allegedly pulled out a handgun and opened fire, leading the Marshals to return fire and kill Smith, authorities have said.

The deadly run-in came just over a year after Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin fatally knelt on the neck of George Floyd during a botched arrest.

Floyd’s Memorial Day death sparked a nationwide wave of protest, while Chauvin was fired, criminally charged and ultimately convicted of murder.

“There’s a lot of things that have happened since George Floyd that show the state of Minnesota isn’t really serious about police reform,” said Trahern Crews, lead organizer of Black Lives Matter’s Minnesota chapter, at Saturday’s protest, according to the Star Tribune.

The gathering was largely peaceful, with no arrests reported as of 10:30 p.m., in contrast to Thursday and Friday’s protests, which saw fires lit, stores looted and dozens of protesters arrested, according to the paper.

Among the speakers at the gathering was Smith’s younger brother, who demanded transparency from law-enforcement.

“You cannot hide. You can’t hide anymore — claiming you’re US Marshals and the BCA [the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] and you can’t release evidence?” said Kidale Smith, 31, according to local CBS affiliate WCCO. “You won’t be able to hide for long.”

The BCA has said in a statement that there is no video footage of the shooting or the events preceding it because “the US Marshal Service currently does not allow the use of body cameras.”

Kidale Smith on Saturday implored anyone who may have witnessed his brother’s death to come forward.

“Somebody’s seen something. I know they did,” he said, according to KCCO. “There’s too many windows over here and there are too many people at this restaurant. Somebody saw something. Somebody heard something.”

Bystander video footage of Floyd’s death proved crucial in prosecutors building a successful case against Chauvin.

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