Task Force members will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Winston Smith in Minneapolis


No charges will be filed against members of the US Marshal task force who shot Winston Smith in Minneapolis in early June.

In a letter published Monday by The Star Tribune, Crow Wig County Attorney Donald Ryan said the use of force against Smith was “permitted” under Minnesota law, so “no prosecution should be brought in this way ”.

The incident occurred on June 3, as members of a US Marshals task force sought to apprehend Smith, who was in a parked car, on a warrant for possession of a handgun. fire by a criminal.

At the time, authorities said Winston did not comply with authorities and produced a handgun, forcing members of the task force to fire back.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. An occupant of the car was treated for minor injuries caused by broken glass.

Smith was not identified as the person in the authorities’ initial statement. But family and friends later confirmed Smith was the suspect, a local ABC affiliate reported at the time.

Smith’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis, which has been rocked by several high-profile murders involving law enforcement since George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.

In Monday’s letter, Ryan said the task force was easily identifiable while informing Smith that he was under arrest and that Smith had not complied with the task force.

“As the [task force] was attempting to enter the vehicle, Smith initiated a lethal force showdown with the [task force] by drawing his handgun and pulling the [task force]”Ryan wrote.

Ryan was unsure who fired first, but said it was “irrelevant” because once a person sparked a “lethal force” confrontation, a law enforcement officer did you don’t have to wait to get shot before reacting.

“The reaction and reasoning of the two [task force members] in this case were reasonable and justified, ”Ryan said. “Their conduct was clearly in response to an apparent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. ”

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