Who Was Winston Smith, Man Fatally Shot By Law Enforcement?

Close friends and family of Winston Smith say they want more evidence released in the case of his fatal law enforcement shooting, Erin Hassanzadeh reports (2:03) WCCO 4 News At 5 - June 4, 2021

Video Transcript

FRANK VASCELLARO: And we're also learning more about the man who was killed. Family members tell us that Winston Smith Jr. was a father to three children. Today their biggest question is, why was he shot and killed? Erin Hassanzadeh had a chance to speak to those who know him best. She is live in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. Erin?

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Yeah we're at Lake in Hennepin Frank, where you can see things are closed off here. There are some barricades up, there are some people out with signs. We haven't seen any visible police. Traffic control came through and sort of put up a cone or two, and then kept it moving along so cars are turning around in this area. We know that Winston's daughter is out here. She's actually right to my left here with her mom. And so family right now are really calling for transparency in this investigation.

KIDALE SMITH: I got a call from my stepbrother saying that the man who got shot was my brother.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Kidale Smith's brother is 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith Jr, the man killed by the US Marshals Task force in Uptown Thursday.

KIDALE SMITH: There needs to be something done about this.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Friends say Smith loved music, comedy and being a father.

- He has two girls and one boy. He has an older daughter that understands what's going on.

KIDALE SMITH: I'm not saying that this is a perfect man, and I'm not going to lie and say that "oh, he was just all fruits and daisies." This man had a family, and he's just like anybody else.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: There was a warrant out for Smith's arrest after he failed to appear for a felony firearm conviction in Ramsey County on May 19th. According to court records, Smith also failed to appear for a probation violation on May 5th for 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.

And we're going to have more coming up at 6:00, Frank, on those specific demands from the family members. There are a couple specific things that they're calling for.

FRANK VASCELLARO: OK Erin, we'll look to hear more then. We appreciate it, thank you.