According to body cam footage released by city officials Thursday, Minneapolis police busted down the door of Amir Locke, 22, early Wednesday morning and yelled, “Police! Search warrant!” Locke was apparently asleep and had no weapon.
According to Police, Locke was not named in the search warrant before entering the apartment. He was in legal possession of his firearm, said an attorney for the man’s family.
The Minneapolis police department has faced scrutiny before, and Locke’s killing raises further questions about the use of no-knock warrants.
“We will be working with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to ensure a thorough and complete evaluation,” Freeman said in a statement. “Thereafter, we will decide together, based on the law and evidence, whether criminal charges should be brought.”
In a separate statement, Ellison promised to conduct a “fair and thorough” investigation into the shooting. He said, “Amir Locke’s life mattered. He was only 22 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. His family and friends must now live the rest of their lives without him.”
Bodycam footage shows officers quickly confirming a man is in the apartment. As they make their way over to the man, one SWAT member yells, “Hands! Hands! Hands!” while others shout, “Get on the fu**ing ground!”
Locke is wrapped in blankets and holding his gun as he tries to stand. Three shots are fired.
“At this point, it’s unclear if or how he (Locke) is connected to St. Paul’s investigation,” Interim Chief Of Minneapolis Police, Amelia Huffman said, during a press conference late Thursday.
“The involved officer was just outside the frame in the direction the barrel is emerging from the blanket,” said Huffman.
“As they got close, you can see, along with an individual emerging from under the blanket, the barrel of a gun, which comes out from the blanket,” said Huffman. “The officer had to make a split-second decision to assess the circumstances and to determine whether he felt like there was an articulable threat, that the threat was of imminent harm, great bodily harm or death, and that he needed to take action right then to protect himself and his partners.”
The city of Minneapolis identified Mark Hanneman, a SWAT team member, as the shooter. According to CNN, a spokesperson for the City of Minneapolis said per policy, Hanneman has been placed on administrative leave pending the ongoing investigation.
According to Police, Locke was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center. Locke was immediately provided medical attention as he was carried to meet paramedics. Locke died from multiple gunshot wounds. The form of death is homicide, said the county medical examiner.
Civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, said in a statement, “Locke, who has several family members in law enforcement and no past criminal history, legally possessed a firearm at the time of his death,” reported CNN.
“Like the case of Breonna Taylor, the tragic killing of Amir Locke shows a pattern of no-knock warrants having deadly consequences for Black Americans,” Crump said
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