Amir Locke’s Parents File Federal Lawsuit Against Minneapolis For No-Knock Warrant Killing
A year after the fatal shooting of Amir Locke, attorneys and the family of the 22 year-old announced the filing of a federal lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis.
According to CNN, Locke’s parents and civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced in federal court on Friday morning (Feb. 3) the lawsuit against the city and the officer who fired the lethal weapon that killed Locke.
“We all saw that horrific video where Amir Locke didn’t even have a chance…He was practically in slumber when the police did what they do so often with Black people – they shoot first, and ask questions later,” Crump said during the Friday press conference.
On Feb. 2, 2022 officers entered the downtown Minneapolis apartment where Locke, 22, was staying. As officers burst through the front door, Locke popped up with a handgun as he began moving. Three shots can be heard on the body camera footage, nine seconds after the police entered the apartment for what they said was a search warrant.
The search warrant was in connection with a St. Paul, Minn. homicide investigation; Locke’s name was not in the search warrant, and he was in legal possession of the firearm.
Locke’s mother, Karen Wells, and attorneys said he used his firearm as protection while working as a food delivery driver.
In April 2022, two months after Locke’s death, it was announced that no charges would be filed against the police involved in the fatal shooting. “Insufficient admissible evidence” was stated by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and former Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
The lawsuit comes shortly after the news of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Memphis man brutally beaten during what the Memphis Police Department deemed a traffic violation. Nichols succumbed to his injuries three days later in a local hospital.
“We keep seeing this brutality all over America, this excessive use of force whether shooting or brutalization of Black people by police officers who are supposed to protect and serve them,” Crump said.
Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, the U.S. Justice Department launched a federal civil investigation in 2021 into whether the Minneapolis police department has “a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement. The examination is still ongoing.
“But you don’t see that in those videos with Amir Locke,” Garland said. “You don’t see that in these videos with George Floyd. You don’t see that in these videos with Andre Hill in Ohio. You don’t see that in these videos that we see with Tyre Nichols, the latest America tragedy of police brutality against black people in America.”