Winston Smith looking into the camera.


‘Say his name’: Federal police fatally shoot Winston Smith, a Black man, in Minneapolis

'Just killers.'


Michelle Brandabur


Published Jun 4, 2021   Updated Jun 4, 2021, 3:32 pm CDT

Twitter erupted on Friday as Minnesota residents spoke out about federal police’s fatal shooting of a Black man.

U.S. Marshals killed Winston Smith, a 32-year-old Black man, in Minneapolis on Thursday after task force members tried arresting him.

“Preliminary information indicates task force members were attempting to apprehend an individual wanted on a state arrest warrant for possession of a firearm by a felon,” the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office told the Daily Dot.

While protesters in Minneapolis took to the streets to mourn the loss of another Black man shot by police, users on Twitter posted photos of Smith with his family.

“Say His Name… #WinstonSmith,” one user tweeted along with a picture of Smith embracing two young children.

The tweet, posted on Friday, received 361 retweets and 909 like.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Smith was killed because he didn’t follow police instructions. U.S. Marshals allegedly attempted to lure Winston from his car when he drew a firearm.

“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,” the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said. Emergency medical services pronounced Smith dead at the scene.

“Damn These MN ‘law enforcement’ are just killers,” one user tweeted.

A woman who was also in the car with Smith during the fatal shooting but suffered minor injuries from glass debris, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

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*First Published: Jun 4, 2021, 2:05 pm CDT