Shortly before 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Minneapolis police fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke while executing a no-knock warrant. Locke, who was armed, was not the subject of the warrant.
The MPD released officer bodycam footage of the shooting on Friday.
A member of the SWAT team is seen quietly inserting a key into the door. Upon entering the apartment, they shout “police search warrant.” Locke appears to be asleep on a sofa and he is wrapped up in a blanket. He is holding a pistol which is initially aimed at the floor and his finger is not on the trigger.
An officer shouts, “Get on the ground! Get on the f***ing ground.”
Shots are fired and Locke is killed.
According to NPR, the officer who fired the shots has been placed on paid administrative leave while the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducts an investigation. NPR reported:
Locke’s family has retained attorneys Ben Crump and Jeff Storms. In a statement sent to NPR, Crump’s office said that Locke “has several family members in law enforcement and no past criminal history,” adding that he “legally possessed a firearm at the time of his death.”
If the name “Ben Crump” sounds familiar to you, it’s because he has represented the families of George Floyd, Jacob Blake, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.
Little is known at this point about the search warrants the police were acting upon.
Local media outlet KARE 11 reported that the St. Paul Police Department is currently “investigating the homicide relating to the [three] warrants.”
Steve Linders, a public information officer for the SPPD issued a statement on Thursday which said the warrants are sealed to “protect the integrity of the investigation” and “until the court directs otherwise.”
Regarding why the MPD served the warrant for an SPPD case, Linders wrote:
After the warrants in this case were signed by a Hennepin County judge, the Saint Paul Police Department asked the Minneapolis Police Department to carry out three of them at an apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. The apartment complex management team complied with the court orders and provided access to the MPD officers.
When law enforcement agencies have a need to serve a search warrant outside of their jurisdiction, it’s common practice for them to request assistance from other agencies. This is done for several reasons, including availability of resources, knowledge of the addresses being searched and familiarity of the area and community. Each agency has its own protocols and policies for serving search warrants. The agency responsible for serving the warrant determines what tactics that will be used.
TENSIONS RISING: Tensions are high in Minneapolis where there are calls for justice after a police SWAT team officer shot and killed a 22-year-old Black man during a “no-knock warrant” raid. The governor is activating National Guard troops in case protesters get violent. pic.twitter.com/2A4L9J7QJz
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 4, 2022
It took about a nanosecond for “defund the police” enthusiast, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, to blame the officers for the shooting.
But she may wind up with egg on her face following the MBCA investigation.
Amir Locke had barely opened his eyes when he was executed by a Minneapolis Police officer. He was 22 years old. And now, because of the violent, unchecked, and unreformed behavior of our city’s police, his life has been taken.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2022
In the initial part of the video, Locke’s gun is clearly seen pointed at the ground and his finger is not on the trigger. But between 0:44 and 0:45 seconds in the footage, Locke’s position shifts suddenly and the officer immediately fires. Although it’s unclear what happened, something changed.
A full investigation will, no doubt, provide some answers.
Nevertheless, Omar, Locke’s parents and the legacy media have already convicted the police officer of murder.
And calls of #JusticeforAmir have already begun.
“I saw in that instant he did the right thing.” Andre Locke, Amir Locke’s father, says that when he watched the body camera video of his son’s killing, he saw Amir’s finger outside the trigger guard, gun pointed toward the ground. “I said, we’ll get justice Amir.” pic.twitter.com/WGs4OiTJSs
— Mark Vancleave (@MDVancleave) February 4, 2022
NOW: Car caravan stretching several blocks through downtown Minneapolis. Horns and demands for justice for Amir. pic.twitter.com/kC0HDqxB15
— Mark Vancleave (@MDVancleave) February 5, 2022