The names of the two sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed a black man in an attempted arrest will not be released for working undercover, state investigators said Wednesday, citing Minnesota law.
Officials from six law enforcement agencies, including the Hennepin and Ramsey Counties sheriff offices, were part of a U.S. Marshal Service task force attempting to convict Winston Smith Jr., a 32-year-old father of three, for a gun violation on June 3 to arrest. Smith, who sat in a parked vehicle on a parking ramp, did not stick to it and “produced a handgun, which resulted in task force members shooting the subject,” said the US marshals.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the incident, said a handgun and spent cartridge were found in the car, suggesting that Smith fired his gun. The Hennepin County coroner said Smith died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The BCA also said it was not aware of any video of the incident. The lack of video footage has become a focal point for activists and Smith’s family who demand transparency and accountability.
Jersey barriers erected by the city of Minneapolis surround monuments as parishioners gather in George Floyd Square to seek justice for Winston Smith Jr. on June 7, 2021. Smith was fatally shot and killed by members of a US Marshals Task Force.
“I will protect my brother’s name”: Family of Minneapolis man killed by MPs demands accountability
Another black man was fatally shot by MPs: Authorities say there is no bodycam video. Activists call it “ruthless”.
State investigators said the U.S. Marshal’s Service did not allow body cameras to be used on the task force trying to arrest Smith. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office issued a body camera to one of the MPs involved in the shooting, but was told it could not be used while the deputy was working on task force operations, the department said.
However, the U.S. Marshals Service said the Department of Justice allows state, local, and tribal forces to do so. In October, the Justice Department approved the use of body cameras for officials serving in federal working groups.
The story goes on
Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced Monday that federal agents will be required to wear body cameras when executing search warrants or making pre-planned arrests.
The BCA announced Wednesday that officials from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the US Marshals Service were also part of the task force during the arrest attempt. Officials from the Ramsey, Hennepin and Anoka Counties sheriff’s offices announced that they are discontinuing their alternates on the task force because of the body camera issue.
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Undercover MPs Who Shot Winston Smith Jr. Are Not Identified