As millions of Americans gathered to watch the Super Bowl of the weekend, hundreds of protesters united to demand justice for Amir Locke.
On Sunday (February 13), a group of demonstrators gathered outside of the Minnesota governor’s residence to push for change after the fatal police shooting of 22-year-old Locke. Black Lives Matter Minnesota and Families Supporting Families Against Police voiced one of their goals in light of Locke’s death: Urging lawmakers to ban no-knock warrants.
Toshira Garraway of FSFAPV, “They’re hurting us in our community and we just want it to stop. We don’t want to hurt anybody. We don’t hate police but we want them to stop hurting our families and our community and we want them to be held accountable when they do.”
Locke, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis during a “no-knock” SWAT raid on his apartment on February 2. 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. The warrant was issued in relation to a homicide. However, Locke’s name was not in the warrant, but Locke’s cousin, 17-year-old Mekhi Speed was, according to CNN.
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.
In addition to no knock warrants getting banned, protesters also want the dismissal and arrest of officers involved in the shooting and the resignation of the mayor and police chief.