Tragedy struck in Minneapolis last night when a man, seemingly on purpose, drove his vehicle into a crowd of people protesting the police shooting death of Winston Smith. According to the city’s official police department Twitter, at least one woman was killed. Three other individuals were reportedly injured in the violent incident. The man responsible has been arrested.
Adult female is pronounced deceased at hospital as a result of the crash in Uptown other injured party has non-life-threatening injuries.
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) June 14, 2021
Activist Shaun King claimed on his Instagram to have identified the vehicular assailant as Nicholas David Kraus.
Police have stated that they don’t yet know the man’s motives, but this attack is similar to the Charlottesville car attack during which a white supremacist drove his vehicle into a crowd of people protesting the Unite the Right rally, murdering a woman named Heather Heyer. Given the nature of the protest struck last night, it seems possible that there could be a similarly right-wing or racist motivation at play.
Winston Smith, a Black man, was killed on June 3rd by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force who were attempting to arrest him over a felony gun possession allegation. The authorities claim that he ignored their orders and drew a gun, and investigators for the state claim that he fired his weapon.
The woman who was with Smith and witnessed the shooting insists that she never saw a gun inside the vehicle, casting doubt on the truth of law enforcement’s version of events. No footage, if it exists, has yet been released.
The shooting of Winston Smith is just the latest in a long string of highly publicized killings of Black men at the hands of police. The people who gathered in protest last night were fighting for a more equitable society, free of the terror of police brutality, and ended up confronted by unthinkable brutality themselves. Hopefully, this case is tried to the full extent of the law. These men must be sent a clear message that this kind of hateful violence will carry the harshest of punishments.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.