The deputies who fatally shot Winston Smith on the top level of a Minneapolis parking ramp on June 3 were undercover, and no video of the shooting was captured, according to an updated issued Wednesday by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Smith, 32, of St. Paul, died of multiple gunshot wounds just after 2:10 p.m. June 3, after he was encountered by members of an undercover U.S. Marshals North Star Fugitive Task Force at 1405 West Lake Street in Uptown, Minneapolis.
The BCA maintains that Smith fired on officers from inside his vehicle before being fatally shot. A gun was found in his vehicle with spent shell casings in the vehicle.
There were six law enforcement agencies who were involved with the task force:
- Anoka County Sheriff's Office
- Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
- Ramsey County Sheriff's Office
- Minnesota Department of Corrections
- U.S,. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- U.S. Marshals Service
Deputies from the Hennepin and Ramsey sheriff departments discharged their weapons during the incident. Because of state law, the BCA is not allowed to identity any of the officers.
Furthermore, none of the task force members were wearing body cameras, nor is there any other known video of the shooting. The BCA is asking anyone who might have video of the incident to call 651-793-7000.
The BCA originally stated that task force officers are not allowed to wear body cameras, but the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota has since corrected that statement by saying "the federal justice department began permitting task force officers to wear body cameras in October 2020, in addition to the U.S. Marshals Service beginning to phase-in the use of body cameras in February 2021."
The phasing in of body cameras "continues to be implemented in the District of Minnesota," the attorney's office added.
Multiple law enforcement agencies in Minnesota have since pulled out of task force operations until body cameras are implement, including Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher pulling his officers.
Smith was a musician who also went by the name Wince Me Boi. A post on Facebook by a woman who identifies herself as Smith's cousin said he was a father, while Smith's Facebook page says he previously attended Roosevelt Senior High School in south Minneapolis.
Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.