Lawyers for Winston Smith's Family Criticize Investigation Into His Death

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Manage episode 304931752 series 2889668
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Lawyers for the family of Winston Smith are protesting the decision to not prosecute the officers involved in Smith’s death; they say the investigation lacks integrity.


Georgia Fort reports:

Lawyers for the family of Winston Smith are protesting the decision to not prosecute the officers involved in Smith’s death. Smith was fatally shot by members of a U.S. Marshals task force in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis in June. The Smith family's attorney, Eric Newmark, said the investigation lacks integrity.

“Every single member of that task force that was present when Winston Smith was killed refused to submit to an interview with the BCA - think about that,” said Newmark.

Attorney Newmark said there are inconsistencies in the investigation. Original reports from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension claimed there was no body camera or other surveillance footage. But Newmark said the Crow Wing County Attorney cited body camera footage of the aftermath in a letter explaining his ruling to Attorney Mike Freeman. Freeman was originally assigned the case but handed it off to Crow Wing County due to a conflict of interest.

Winston Smith was a well known comedian, artist and father. His brother Kidale Smith said it’s been challenging for Winston’s children.

“When I show her a picture of her dad she plays with the picture like he’s still here. It’s actually very heartbreaking to watch,” he said.

Community questioned the loophole that allowed an incident like this to happen without any body cameras. Police officers deputized on a Federal task force are not required by law to use them.

“If law-enforcement has their way, all these individuals involved in the shooting - we will never know any of their names and that’s astonishing, it’s disgraceful,” said Newmark.

The case file is still classified as under investigation. Once the case is closed all evidence will be available by request to the BCA.

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