Amir Locke, 22, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis during a “no-knock” SWAT raid on his apartment earlier this week.
Locke was killed while on his couch. One day after the killing, police released the body cam footage. Reuters reports it shows Locke held “a gun as he twisted beneath a blanket on his sofa after being roused by officers moments before he was slain.”
Authorities said the officers were exercising a “no-knock” search warrant, which authorizes police to enter private property without first announcing their presence. The warrant was issued in relation to a homicide. However, Locke’s name was not in the warrant, and Minneapolis police have acknowledged it’s unclear how or whether he was connected to that investigation.
Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman said the county attorney’s office is investigating. Law enforcement says the bodycam footage shows Locke’s gun pointed toward officers when they opened fire. However, activists at the protest said, “Locke had a right to possess a weapon in his own home and was never [given a chance] to disarm himself in the chaotic moments as police stormed into his apartment without warning”, according to the report.
Since then, nearly 500 protesters have gathered in below-freezing temperatures to demand justice for Locke. In addition, protesters also want the dismissal and arrest of officers involved in the shooting and the resignation of the mayor and police chief.
This is Amir Locke. He was a son, a brother, a new business owner and wanted to make music like his father who is known to many in the Twin Cities music community as “Lil Buddy McClain”. Instead Amir was fatally shot by a Minneapolis officer seconds after he woke up Wednesday pic.twitter.com/YKOiU5Bf9o
— Georgia Fort (@ByGeorgiaFort) February 5, 2022
Protesters now marching through downtown Minneapolis. #AmirLocke @WCCO pic.twitter.com/tJT2uFEOIH
— Nick Streiff (@nickstreiff) February 5, 2022
The same police department that killed George Floyd killed an innocent black man yesterday inside his apartment. Minneapolis Police Officer
Brett Hankison shot & killed AMIR LOCKE YESTERDAY FEBRUARY 3rd, 2022. The police had the wrong apartment and person…
— A✨ (@addiicted2a) February 4, 2022
Protesters also want a true ban on no-knock warrants. Buzz Feed points out Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was campaigning on a claim that he’d banned the use of “no-knock” search warrants by city police.
Buzz Feed also notes, “in Minneapolis, officials didn’t ban the use of no-knock warrants but instead required officers to announce their presence while executing them.” When questioned about the confusion, Frey didn’t answer the question directly but took “some” of the blame. Frey said, “Now, throughout a campaign and certainly as more and more outside groups begin weighing in, language got more casual, including my own, which did not reflect the complexity and nuance, and I own that,”
Frey is reportedly working on a new no-knock policy. We’ll keep you updated.