ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has released police reports, photos and audio interviews from the investigation into the fatal shooting of Winston Smith by law enforcement.
Wednesday's release includes 1025 pages of documents, more than 1000 photos and 32 separate audio files assembled during the investigation into the June 3 shooting of Smith by two members of a U.S. Marshal's Violent Crime Task Force. The BCA reiterated that no video exists of the shooting itself, but the agency does have squad car and body camera videos from officers who responded to the shooting.
The BCA says it will eventually release that video, but not this week.
KARE 11's Lou Raguse has closely followed developments in Smith's fatal shooting by two members of U.S. Marshal's Task Force. Among the key points he has pulled from the files so far:
- During an interview with a BCA Special Agent Smith's girlfriend, Norhan Askar, said she pleaded with him to cooperate but he reportedly said “I don’t want to go to jail” and was trying to get a Facebook livestream started.
- Askar ducked and said she did not witness the shooting. She also seemed confused whether a shooting actually occurred.
- The officers involved refused to be interviewed by the BCA and instead provided written statements.
- BCA agents traced the gun possessed and allegedly shot by Winston. They say It was stolen from Des Moines.
On October 11 Crow Wing County Attorney Donald Ryan announced that after a review of the evidence, no charges would be filed against the task force deputies involved in Smith's fatal shooting. In a letter sent to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Ryan said he determined that the task force was "properly exercising its lawful authority."
Ryan was brought in to review the case due to conflicts of interest for counties closer to Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.
Smith's family disputes Ryan's findings and is publicly calling for the release of all evidence in the shooting.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Service task force fatally shot Smith as he sat inside a vehicle on the top level of an Uptown Minneapolis parking ramp. Law enforcement insists Smith fired a gun as they attempted to take him into custody.
The 32-year-old was being sought on a warrant for a felony firearms violation.