MN BCA: Not releasing names of undercover officers in Smith killing

police and crowds following a shooting in Minneapolis
Crowds gather at the scene in Uptown Minneapolis after the fatal shooting of Winston Smith on June 3.
Tim Evans | MPR News

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said Wednesday that it is not releasing the names of the sheriff's deputies who shot and killed a man last Thursday because the officers were working undercover.

Deputies working on the U.S. Marshals Service’s North Star Fugitive Task Force killed 32-year-old Winston Smith in an Uptown Minneapolis parking ramp while trying to arrest him on a firearms warrant.

State investigators said last week that Smith shot from inside his vehicle, and that Hennepin and Ramsey County deputies fired their guns. It's not clear who fired first.

The officers were not wearing body cameras, and the BCA is asking the public for any video of the incident.

The BCA said it's prohibited from releasing the officers' identities because they were "working in an undercover capacity" and cited Minnesota law.

The task force included officers from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Anoka, Hennepin and Ramsey County sheriff's offices, the Minnesota Department of Corrections and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Several Minnesota law enforcement agencies have pulled out of the federal task force since the incident, citing concerns over policies prohibiting body cameras.

Smith’s family has demanded release of any available video and the names of law enforcement officers involved.

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