Minneapolis: Protestors Clash With Police: Fires Rage. Vigil For ‘Gunman’ Shot Dead By Cops After Dismantling George Floyd Memorial
Winston “Boogie” Smith Jr, 32, was fatally shot by police, who say he fired a gun at deputies before he was killed.
The shooting took place on Thursday in Minneapolis’ Uptown area.
At a vigil for Smith, buildings were vandalised and looted, and nine people were arrested on charges including suspicion of riot, assault, arson and damage to property.
Pictures from the scene show fires in the streets and lines of armed officers standing guard in the city.
It is the second night of protests in response to Smith’s death.
The spot where Smith was fatally shot has been marked with graffiti reading ‘no trail for them’ and ‘Mpls still hates cops.’
Tensions were already high in the city after crews began to remove the concreate barricades that have sealed off the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago – the infamous location of Floyd’s death and a so-called ‘autonomous zone’ over the past year.
Gun violence has been increasing in the city, and the victims of the violence range in age.
Local activist Marcus X, said, “There’s shootings every single day and the summer hasn’t even started. All the police have PTSD, they’ve left, you don’t see police patrolling here. I know it and the gangs know it.”
“I could shoot someone right now and walk five blocks home before the police would even come.”
‘The police have left and it’s unleashed the gangs.’
According to authorities, members of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force were trying to arrest Smith on Thursday on a warrant for allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun.
The Marshals Service said in a statement that the father of three did not comply with law enforcement and ‘produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject.’
State investigators have said that there was evidence within the vehicle that Mr Smith was in that he had fired his gun, with empty cartridges found inside the car.
He died at the scene and his passenger, a 27-year-old woman, was treated for injuries from glass debris.
Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, died after being struck by a bullet when caught in the crossfire of a shoot out on May 15.
She was the second child to be shot in Minneapolis in just three weeks. LaDavionne Garrett Jr, 10, was shot while sitting in his parents car. He remains in hospital.
Just two days after Trinity died, six-year-old Aniya Allen was killed after being shot while sat in the car with her mother on May 17.
There have been 36 homicides in the city so far this year, which is more than double the number at this point last year and more than four times that seen in 2019.
Car-jackings are up 222 per cent and shootings have risen 153 per cent. 80 per cent of the victims are black.
Gun theft from vehicles is up more than 100 per cent and the police department has seized 100 fewer guns this year than they had at the same point in 2020.
Minneapolis Police Department has lost more than 200 police officers, who have either permanently left the department or been signed off of service due to disability.
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