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Posted under: News

Protesters Demand Answers After Black Man, Winston Boogie Smith Jr., Killed By Law Enforcement

The 32-year-old was allegedly sitting in a parked car when he “produced a handgun” and failed to comply with the officers' commands.

Demonstrators gathered in Minneapolis over the weekend as protests continue over the shooting of Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a Black man who was killed by a law enforcement official on Thursday. 

Video from the scene of the demonstrations showed protesters blocking intersections as debris burned in the area, CNN reported. Multiple arrests were made in connection with the protests, according to police.

Thursday's fatal incident unfolded in a parking garage in Uptown, a commercial neighborhood of Minneapolis. Police said they were trying to arrest Smith, who was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service task force on a state arrest warrant for possession of a firearm by a felon.

The 32-year-old was allegedly sitting in a parked car when cops say he pulled out a handgun and failed to comply with their commands. He was then shot by two deputies on the task force. A woman who was also in the car sustained minor injuries from shattered glass. 

Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the killing, said Smith “fired his weapon from inside the vehicle.” 

According to the BCA, body camera or squad car camera footage isn't available because the marshals service doesn’t allow body cameras for officers serving on that task force.

Kidale Smith said he learned about his brother's death from a family member.

"I got a call from my stepbrother saying that the man that got shot was my brother," Kidale told CNN. "I'm here to speak up on the fact that there needs to be something done about this. This man had a family, he's just like anybody else."

The family is demanding authorities release some type of footage. 

"We want to see all the security surveillance in the area," said Waylan Hughes, a family friend. "We need justice. We want those cops to go to jail. They wrongly shot him."

Smith, a father of three, received a warrant last month when he failed to appear at a hearing after pleading guilty to a possession of a firearm charge.  

"He only had a warrant out for his arrest. He wasn't even a bad person," Hughes said.

Loved ones remember the 32-year-old as a funny guy.

"He was a comedian," Hughes said, adding that the father of two girls and a boy used to make skits and comedy videos. "He was not out to get nobody." 

A bartender who works in the area of the shooting said several patrons witnessed the incident.

"There were about one or two police cars on the top of the ramp [and then] about five more," the bartender told the StarTribune. "When [all the cars] got to the top, there was eight to 12 shots. [Officers] grabbed the girl and put her in handcuffs."

The latest police-involved shooting in Minneapolis comes after the city recently commemorated one year since the killing of George Floyd. The intersection where Floyd died is located about three miles away from the parking garage where Smith was found, CNN reported. 

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