Minneapolis saw an eruption Friday night after vigilance and protests over the shooting death of a man by members of a U.S. Marshals task force turned into chaotic scenes of looting, arson and vandalism.
The second night of protests follows Thursday’s fatal shooting of a 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was wanted on a gun offense and fired a gun before two deputies shot him.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, according to authorities, tried to arrest Smith on the basis of a warrant because he was believed to be a criminal in possession of a gun. The Marshals Service said in a statement Thursday that Smith, who was in a parked vehicle, did not comply with law enforcement and manufactured a handgun that resulted in task force members firing on the subject. ‘
Family and friends of Smith Jr. spoke on Friday during a vigil at the scene of the fatal shooting incident, with a video of the scene showing an unknown man asking for ‘justice’ and for the crowd to ‘say his name’.
Protesters later blocked parts of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in Uptown Minneapolis, police announced in a tweet, urging people to avoid the area.
Police in riot gear confronted along with some protesters and asked to clear the area. Around 02:00 there was still a large police presence in the area with footage show a vehicle around by law enforcement and additional arrests made.
Video shared on social media showed a crowd of mostly masked individuals breaking into a T-Mobile outlet, with two men hoisting a third as a battered ram to smash the window.
Moments later, people were seen storming through the broken window into the store before leaving somewhere later, with an alarm in the background.
Police said at least nine people had been arrested on possible charges, including the suspicion of rioting, assault, arson and damage to property.
The unrest came as Minneapolis had been going on since the death of George Floyd, just over a year ago, and the deadly shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in the nearby Brooklyn Center in April.