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Protests in Minneapolis turn violent after police shoot Black man to death

Protesters set a dumpster on fire after a shooting on Thursday in Minneapolis. (Photo by AP)

Protesters have shut down traffic and vandalized buildings in the Minneapolis neighborhood of Uptown after law enforcement officers shot and killed a Black man they were trying to arrest.

On Friday, demonstrators gathered in the area where deputies with a US Marshals Service task force fatally shot a suspect, identified as Winston Boogie Smith Jr, a 32-year-old father of three, the day before.

Smith was wanted for illegally possessing a weapon, according to authorities, who alleged he drew his weapon and opened fire at officers before being shot to death.

“During the incident, the subject, who was in a parked car, failed to comply and produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing upon the subject,” US Marshals Service (USMS) said in a statement.

Officers attempted to revive Smith but he was declared dead by paramedics on the scene.

Witnesses at the scene told local media that they heard about 10 gunshots. It was not clear how many law enforcement officers fired their weapons.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said that US Marshals Service does not allow officers on its North Star Fugitive Task Force to wear body cameras, and there is no squad camera footage of the shooting.

Police said windows in some businesses were smashed by the protesters.

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said on Friday that the demonstration had turned violent, with some protesters vandalizing buildings and looting businesses.

Police said on Friday that nine people were arrested overnight during the unrest.

Minneapolis has been on edge since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died last year after he was pinned to the ground by former white officer Derek Chauvin.

Tensions in the city were already running high on Thursday after law enforcement officers cleared an intersection where Floyd was killed. Concrete barriers had been set up at the intersection around a memorial that had been assembled to honor Floyd after his death.

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes as he repeatedly cried out, “I cannot breathe.”

That phrase later became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protests across the United States.




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