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Minneapolis imposes moratorium on no-knock warrants after fatal police shooting of Amir Locke

Police Shooting-Minneapolis Amir Locke
Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 18:59:20-05

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants after the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Friday that his office would review the police shooting that led to the death of Amir Locke in a Minneapolis apartment on Wednesday morning.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the shooting occurred just before 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The Minneapolis Police Department released body camera footage connected to the shooting on Thursday evening.

The video shows officers entering an apartment with a key before announcing their presence. They yelled orders to "get on the ground" as they rushed into the unit.

The footage shows a person, covered in a blanket, moving around on a couch. Screenshots from the video show that the man on the couch was holding a gun as police approached. Police then fired three shots.

The Star Tribune reports that the man on the couch was taken to the hospital, where that person was later pronounced dead.

Video shows that the time between police entering the apartment and officers firing shots was less than 10 seconds.

Though police did not mention the deceased person's name in their initial report, Locke's family has confirmed his identity to local news outlets. The Star Tribune reports that Locke was licensed to carry a firearm.

"Amir didn't deserve what happened. Amir was surprised. Life was taken from him in an unjust way," Locke's father, Andre Locke, said during a press conference Friday. "We would not like this to be swept under the rug. We want justice for our son."

"My son didn't deserve it. Guess what? My son is going to be the face and the voice for those who can't speak," Locke's mother, Karen Wells said.

According to WCCO-TV, the warrant was linked to a murder investigation in nearby St. Paul. During a press conference Thursday, Minneapolis Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman said that Locke was not named in the warrant and that it's "unclear" if he's connected to the St. Paul murder investigation.

Officials identified the officer who fired the fatal shots as Officer Mark Hanneman. He was immediately placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.

Huffman, the interim police chief, said that Hanneman was forced to make a "split-second" decision about whether his life was in danger when he spotted that the person in the apartment was armed.

No-knock warrants have come under increased scrutiny following several high-profile fatal shootings in recent years. Among those was the shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, who was killed by police during a no-knock raid in March 2020.

Prior to the moratorium, CNN reports that Minneapolis had already taken steps to limit the use of no-knock raids. In the summer of 2020, the city announced it was adopting a new policy that required police to announce their presence before entering, "except in certain circumstances like hostage situations."

Locke is just the latest Black man in the region to be killed during police confrontations in recent years. In 2020, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked months of protests against police brutality and systemic racism. A year later, as a Minnesota court tried former police officer Derek Chauvin for Floyd's murder, Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in nearby Brooklyn Center.

Chauvin was later convicted of murdering Floyd. In December, former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter was convicted of manslaughter in connection with Wright's death.