The woman who was in the car with Winston Smith when law enforcement fatally shot him in Minneapolis on June 3 said she had a phone, not a gun, as alleged by authorities. .
At a news conference Thursday, Norhan Asker’s attorneys Christopher Nguyen and Recy Rodney, 27, read a statement describing Oscar’s experience when “gun men” surrounded him and Smith after a lunch date.
Oscar and Smith, 32, had been dating for several weeks after meeting through mutual friends more than six months ago. They went to Stella’s Fish Cafe in Uptown for lunch, where they “enjoyed each other’s company” and then went back and climbed into Smith’s car, which was parked on top of a nearby parking ramp.
That’s when they were “suddenly surrounded by people with unmarked cars and guns,” noting that the people were not wearing sheriff’s or police officer’s uniforms.
“He shouted orders and didn’t declare himself as law enforcement of any kind,” Nguyen said. “While shouting for a raise, several armed men aimed their weapons at Ms. Asker and Mr. Smith.”
Asker complied and “feared for his life,” he said, adding that Smith had a cellphone and began doing Facebook Live.
“As soon as he picked up his phone, Ms. Oscar heard gunshots and saw Mr. Smith’s body disintegrate,” Nguyen said.
After a “barrage of bullets”, law enforcement pulled him out of the car, handcuffed him, and placed him in the back of an unmarked car, Nguyen said, noting that it would take him until an ambulance brought him medical attention. By the time she did not arrive, she was handcuffed.
“An officer later asked him how his date was,” Nguyen said.
“Our client never saw a gun in the car and, to be clear, he never saw Winston Smith in possession of a gun,” Nguyen said.
What happened is different from what the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Appreciation has said.
The BCA said law enforcement members serving in the US Marshal’s Joint Task Force were attempting to detain Smith when he “produced a gun” when he failed to appear in a court in possession of a gun. happened.
Only then did a Ramsey County and a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy—who were both undercover, so they would not be named publicly—”discharged their weapons,” striking Smith.
The BCA said there was evidence that Smith fired a weapon from inside the vehicle, but did not say which party fired first. And a search warrant filed in court claimed law enforcement found a gun and ammunition in Smith’s car.
related [June 5]: BCA: Undercover agents fatally shot Winston Smith; no videos found
Meanwhile, according to officials, no bodycam, squad camera or surveillance footage of the incident exists, which makes it difficult to verify various accounts of what happened.
“Our client is recovering,” Nguyen said, noting that she is experiencing a roller coaster of emotions related to the matter, and even being in a car causes great anxiety. As she continues to remove the glass from her skin, which was sprayed on her. When law enforcement opened fire on Smith.
trial is coming
Rodney said that Oscar’s lawyers would file a lawsuit against all of the agencies involved, accusing them of violating his civil rights, noting that the agencies have shown no transparency or accountability since the shooting.
related [June 11]: Increasing demand for transparency over law enforcement killing of Winston Smith
Rodney also said that the BCA failed to conduct a gunshot residue test on Smith, which he says could have provided evidence to help determine whether Smith had a gun and was responsible for the incident. Reinforce version.
BCA spokeswoman Jill Oliveria told the Star Tribune that the BCA had not asked a medical examiner to test Smith for gunshot remains because it did not provide conclusive evidence that Smith handled or fired the gun. Mari, looking at how long guns are shot. Inside and outside the vehicle, it is not possible to determine from which gun the remains came.
The lack of clarity and sometimes conflicting information about Smith’s death, including that of Asker, who has said several times that he did not see him produce the gun, prompted calls for more transparency, some community The groups also demanded the head of the US Marshals Service. Minnesota resignation. Law enforcement’s narrative of events is also skeptical, in light of the Minneapolis Police Department’s initial description of the murder of George Floyd.