Law enforcement officers shot and killed a suspect wanted for a gun possession charge on Thursday, sparking protests and unrest in a city that was rattled by the murder of George Floyd in police custody a year ago.
On Thursday afternoon, a task force of US Marshals and local law enforcement attempted to arrest a suspect, identified as Winston Boogie Smith, for possession of an illegal firearm. Smith was in a parked car, refused to follow officers' commands and pulled out a handgun during the encounter.
In response, the officers fired multiple shots, striking Smith. Officers attempted to revive the man but he was declared dead by paramedics on the scene. Smith was a suspect in a murder, as reported by FOX9. A woman who was in the car with the suspect sustained minor injuries from shattered glass, the statement said.
The shooting prompted protesters to take to the streets, demanding justice for the deceased murder suspect. However, the demonstrations spiralled out of control and eventually led to stores being looted and dumpsters being set on fire, according to Fox News.
'Ima Shoot Back,' 'I Ain't Going With My Hand Up,' Smith Bragged on Social Media
In the aftermath of the shooting, Smith's social media activity came under scrutiny after we found posts on his Facebook profile in which he bragged about shooting a police officer if he was shot at and would not surrender "like the rest."
"Officer please don't shoot at me cuz ima [I'm gonna] shoot back I ain't so sucker like the rest I ain't going with my hand up" Smith wrote in a Facebook post in September 2019.
In other posts, shared days after the death of George Floyd as the city of Minneapolis erupted in riots, Smith wrote about burning down police stations and starting a "war" against law enforcement. "justice is an eye for eye u kill one of mine we need one of yours that's justice!," he wrote in one of the posts.
Smith was sentenced to 48 months in prison in October 2018 for aggravated robbery in the first degree but the judge stayed his sentence and let him out on parole.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, sparking a wave of protests against police brutality and racial inequality across the country that lasted for months. Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder in April.