Protests regarding the recent death of Winston Smith continue in Minneapolis Friday shutting down certain areas to traffic, reports Erin Hassanzadeh (2:48). WCCO 4 News - June 4, 2021
- Protesters have closed down a major intersection in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis this evening. A group there includes family and friends of 32-year-old Winston Smith. Smith was shot and killed by members of the US Marshals Fugitive task force in a parking ramp yesterday. Erin Hassanzadeh is there near Lake and Hennepin Avenues and she joins us now with the latest. Hi there, Erin.
ERIN HASSANZADEH: Hi, Amelia. Yeah. People tell me that city traffic enforcement actually came through and put up some of these closed road signs. You can see though that people have also tipped over a couple trash and recycling cans to block a little bit more. Numbers haven't grown though out here too much since 5 o'clock. Still a couple dozen people holding space. Still no visible police out here either. But we did hear from Winston Smith's family earlier today. They are calling for transparency in this investigation.
KIDALE SMITH: I got a call from my stepbrother saying that the man that got shot was my brother.
ERIN HASSANZADEH: There are now flowers where 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith Jr.'s life ended on Thursday.
KIDALE SMITH: I saw the blood that they let drip down in the drain. This man had a family. And he's just like anybody else.
WAYLON HUGHES: He has two girls and one boy. He has a older daughter that understands what's going on.
ERIN HASSANZADEH: His social media posts show he had just finished having lunch on the Stella's rooftop across the street.
KIDALE SMITH: There's a camera on the fifth floor of the parking ramp. We want to see that footage of what actually happened.
ERIN HASSANZADEH: His brother and others here also want to know more about the law enforcement officials involved. They want all relevant evidence released.
KIDALE SMITH: I want names, I want faces, I want experience history. I want all of that.
ERIN HASSANZADEH: There was a warrant for Smith's arrest after he failed to appear for a felony firearm conviction in Ramsey County on May 19. According to court records, Smith also failed to appear for a probation violation on May 5 for a 2017 aggravated robbery conviction. His four-year sentence in that case was stayed and he was out on probation. Smith was also facing an upcoming trial in September for allegedly fleeing a police officer last fall. But his friends and family say a warrant for his arrest should not have led to the end of his life.
WAYLON HUGHES: He was on a date. He wasn't out doing anything wrong. He was in a public place with a lot of people around. Give him time to surrender. There needs to be something done about this.
ERIN HASSANZADEH: And we actually just spoke with Winston's seven-year-old daughter. She was out here with her mom. She told us she misses her dad and that he's up in the sky. So a lot of people close to him thinking about him today. There is going to be a vigil out here near Lake and Jared just after 8 o'clock, around 8 o'clock tonight, Amelia.
- All right. Thank you, Erin.