Two more Minnesota law enforcement agencies are suspending their participation with the federal task force whose members fatally shot Winston Smith Jr. in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood last week.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office will no longer participate until local law enforcement are allowed to wear body cameras while on the task force, Fox 9 reported Tuesday night.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office will also suspend its participation, Tierney Peters, community relations coordinator, said in an e-mail on Tuesday.
Both actions come a day after the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office announced it was withdrawing from the North Star Fugitive Task Force.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office had discussed concerns about the task force's policy that prevented deputies from wearing and operating body cameras while working on the task force before Smith was fatally shot, according to Peters. The suspension will last until "an agreed-upon resolution that allows the use of body-worn cameras, as well as follows Minnesota Data Practices laws can be achieved," according to the e-mail.
The prohibition was in conflict with the Anoka County Sheriff's Office body camera policy implemented in 2018. The U.S. Marshals Service recently announced it would start allowing deputies to wear body cameras, but how that data will be collected and managed under Minnesota law is still being worked out, according to Peters.
Smith, 32, of Minneapolis, was killed Thursday afternoon; authorities say he fired a gun from his vehicle as the task force tried to arrest him on a warrant from Ramsey County for being a felon in possession of a gun.
A preliminary investigation shows that a Hennepin County sheriff's deputy and a Ramsey County deputy shot Smith while under the direction of the task force.
Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759