It’s been over a month since Winston Smith, Jr. was killed by members of a federal task force, and charges have yet to be brought against any involved. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Smith fired shots at officers as they tried to arrest him. But lawyers for the only eyewitness countered official statements.
Feven Gerezgiher reports:
It’s been over a month since Winston Smith Jr. was killed by members of a federal task force, and charges have yet to be brought against any involved.
“I can only describe what’s happening in one word – ‘cover-up’’ said Johnathon McClellan, founder of the Minnesota Justice Coalition.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Smith fired shots at officers as they tried to arrest him. But lawyers for the only eyewitness countered official statements.
They say Norhan Askar was leaving a lunch date with Smith when officers surrounded them in unmarked cars. She claims they did not announce themselves as law enforcement and shot Smith when he raised his phone to record the incident. According to the lawyers, the BCA did not run tests that would verify whether Smith had fired shots as claimed.
“Based on the fact that Ms. Askar had suffered significant injuries from shattered glass, I think the facts bear out that some of the statements that are being made by our agencies aren’t physically possible,” said one of her lawyers.
In Uptown, community members have transformed protest space into a peace garden. It’s named after both Winston and Deona Marie Erickson, who died after being hit by a car at a vigil for Smith. An activist named Nero who helped create the space said the site has been repeatedly torn down. He says the garden was created to preserve the street movement.
“Police was ruthless,” said Nero. “They did everything from shooting a dog with marker rounds to macing people and leaving them there. Grabbing random people, snatching people, you know, breaking stuff. Pulling handles out, like they destroyed people’s cars, stabbed tires.”
Nero said he wants to see justice for Smith, Erickson, and all other protestors against police violence. He hopes the garden keeps focus towards long-term solutions.
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