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Thousands Protest Amir Locke Fatal Shooting In Botched Police ‘No-Knock’ Warrant Raid

Authorities are pressured to rethink how they use surprise police raids in a city still reeling from the murder of George Floyd.

Demonstrators protested peacefully but sternly during the weekend in Minneapolis over the latest death of a Black man in that city at the hands of local police. On Saturday (Feb. 5), thousands of demonstrators flooded downtown Minneapolis streets, followed the next day by a car caravan, local CBS Minnesota reported. The protest placed police no-knock warrants under scrutiny.

The anger stems from a Minneapolis Police Department SWAT team’s botched surprise raid of an apartment on Feb. 2, which resulted in the fatal shooting of Amir Locke. Officers, using a key, entered the unit where Locke, 22, was seen apparently sleeping on a couch in a graphic and brief body camera video. Locke was shot within 10 seconds of the encounter. MPD Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman confirmed last Thursday that Locke was not named in the original warrant.

This all comes nearly two years after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin murdered a handcuffed and faced-down Black man, George Floyd, during an arrest. Videos of the now-convicted Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck ignited huge protests nationwide and a racial reckoning on police brutality targeting Black men.

According to CBS Minnesota, protesters on Saturday had three demands. First, they wanted police officials to fire and criminally charge the cop who fatally shot Locke, identified as Officer Mark Hanneman. They also wanted the interim police chief fired and third, for Mayor Jacob Frey to resign.

On Sunday, the car caravan went to what they believed was Huffman’s home near Lake of the Isles, but no one came out of the house to engage with them.

RELATED: Killing of Amir Locke By Minneapolis Police Sets Off Anger In A City Already Frustrated By Deaths At The Hands Of Cops

RELATED: Louisville Council Passes ‘Breonna’s Law,’ Banning ‘No Knock’ Warrants To Honor EMT Killed By Police

The body cam video shows the officers quietly turning a key to the apartment door before they started to shout, “Police. Search warrant.” One officer kicked the couch where Locke was under a blanket and a gun became visible.

According to The New York Times, the police fired at least three times, and Locke died of multiple gunshot wounds.

This case brought the police department’s use of no-knock warrants under a microscope. The search warrant was issued in connection to a St. Paul police homicide case. Locke, however, didn’t live in the apartment. He was staying there with a cousin, the family’s lawyer Jeff Storms said.

According to the Times, the police had obtained both knock and no-knock warrants for searches at three units in the apartment complex, which gave officers the latitude to decide which type of warrant to use.

On Friday, the city’s mayor imposed a moratorium on both requests for, and executions of, no-knock warrants following Locke’s death. Authorities planned to consult with experts involved in creating Breonna’s Law, which limits the use of surprise warrants in Kentucky. It’s named for Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was fatally shot in March 2020 by Louisville officers in a botched police raid on her home.

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