Winston Smith, the man killed last week in Uptown, was apparently already “at war” with the police:
Smith’s violent resistance to arrest may have been motivated by his belief that he was engaged in a “war” on cops.
For years leading up to his death, Smith made statements across social media platforms vowing to shoot police officers if he were ever to be apprehended, encouraging his followers to bring guns and bombs to protests and outlining tactics he believed would be most effective to kill members of law enforcement. He also frequently suggested that he was meeting with like-minded people and taking tangible steps towards these aims.
“Get ready for war,” Smith told his followers via Instagram in mid-April.
“Motherfuckers are finna move on these ‘ops,” he continued, using a slang term that means people would attack police.
“All the shooters, suit up,” he ordered. “Lace your boots up, it’s war fucking time. Bring your gun to the protest, bring them fucking bombs and rocket launchers and all that shit.”
Even some of the local media – in this case, ,reliably left-of-center Fox9 – are taking their break from the Twin Cities media’s usual “write a hagiography first, ask questions later” procedure and noting that there just might be an elephant in this particular room.
UPDATE: It’s unclear from media or law enforcement reports whether Smith was involved in January 6, the only example of violence in American history.