Racial justice activists say it’s unacceptable that none of the members of the federal task force were wearing body cams when Winston Smith was shot and killed in Minneapolis late last. Although the Department of Justice passed a policy in 2020 allowing officers to wear body cameras on federal task forces, authorities say it had not yet been implemented by the Minnesota task force.
Tiffany Bui reports:
Minneapolis city workers returned to George Floyd Square at dawn Tuesday to reopen the intersection. This was the second time crews arrived in less than a week. Those at the square moved quickly to create makeshift barriers to block off vehicle traffic.
Many parts of the memorial such as the community gardens, flowers, pictures and the iconic fist statue remain intact, although some are now behind concrete barricades.
In other news, activists are calling for the resignation of the head of the U.S. Marshals for the District of Minnesota Ramona Dohman. The agency was involved in the fatal shooting of Winston Boogie Smith Jr.
“We know that they are not doing the right thing, even when people are looking and filming for nine and a half minutes. How can you expect them to do the right thing when nobody’s looking and the body cameras are off and the squad footage is nonexistent?” asked activist Toussaint Morrison.
The police and media have also been criticized for spreading misinformation that Smith was a murder suspect. Lawyer Nekima Levy Armstrong said the U.S. Marshals have long perpetrated violence against Black people.
“It’s important for people to understand that the Marshals are the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the history of our country,” explained Levy Armstrong. “And in 1850, marshals were being used to round up fugitive slaves. And just like they did from 1850 to 1864, they’re still rounding up Black people and denying them access to their freedom.”
Although the Department of Justice passed a policy in 2020 allowing officers to wear body cameras on federal task forces, authorities say it had not yet been implemented by the Minnesota task force.
Photo Credit: Brad Sigal
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