Minneapolis authorities release body cam footage of deadly shooting, on Feb 2, as victim’s family retain George Floyd lawyer, Ben Crump, who claims case is like Breonna Taylor
Minneapolis police Mayor released graphic bodycam footage of SWAT entering Amir Locke’s apt while executing a no-knock search warrant in a homicide investigation
Police Chief confirmed after video release that Locke isn’t named in the warrants – it’s not clear how or whether Locke is connected to the homicide investigation, police chief said
Seconds after they broke into the apartment, a Black man apparently asleep and shown to be holding a gun upon awakening was shot and killed
Locke was seen wrapped in a blanket on a couch when officers entered the apt, and displayed a handgun as they shouted at him to show his hands
The footage was released after more than 36 hours of unanswered questions and calls for transparency over the shooting
Seconds after waking him up by kicking the couch on which he was sleeping, officer Mark Hanneman shot Locke, twice in the chest and once in the wrist
Police in a statement Wednesday said Locke pointed a loaded gun ‘in the direction of officers’
Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney said Locke was a licensed gun owner and that he and that he wasn’t one of the suspects named in the warrant
The mayor of the city of Minneapolis Thursday night released body camera footage showing police shoot and kill an armed man sleeping on a couch inside his home.
The raid party were executing a no-knock warrant on February 2.The incident is another police related shooting generating public outcry reminiscent of the deadly shooting of a young black woman, Breonna Taylor, by police in Kentucky in July 2020. Taylor was home, asleep in her bed in the early hours when police descended on the in Louisville home, executing a no knock warrant at the wrong location.
The raid ended badly, generating national outcry against mounting police killing of unarmed black subjects.
Graphic bodycam footage shows Minneapolis police enter an apartment where 22-year-old Amir Locke was curled on the couch under a blanket while executing a no-knock search warrant in a homicide investigation without knocking or announcing themselves until they entered the unit.
The 54-second clip shows a SWAT officer use a key to enter the apartment followed by at least four others in uniform and protective vests, time-stamped at about 6:48 a.m. in footage released Thursday.
Seconds after they broke into the apartment, a Black man apparently asleep and shown to be holding a gun upon awakening was shot and killed.
As the cops enter, they repeatedly shout, “Police, search warrant!”
“Hands! Hands! Hands!” one officer yells while others yell “Get on the fu**ing ground!” as they make their way toward the back of a couch where a man is seen wrapped in blankets at 6:48 a.m., according to the footage.
One officer kicks the back of the couch, appearing to wake up the man, who looks up to see the officers all around him.
He begins to try and stand up, still wrapped in blankets, and is seen holding a gun. Three gunshots are then heard from officers
The officer who shot Locke was identified as Mark Hanneman, who was hired by the department in 2015. Hanneman shot Locke twice in the chest and once in the right wrist.
The footage was shown at slow speed and then at regular speed. The city also included a still from the video showing Locke holding the gun, his trigger finger laid aside the barrel. The top of Locke´s head is barely visible.
Police say Locke was not named in any search warrants before the entry. His parents and their attorneys say he was in legal possession of his firearm.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday that he asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to join in his review of the shooting. The state AG’s office has agreed to conduct the review, according to Freeman’s office.
“We will be working with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to ensure a thorough and complete evaluation,” Freeman said in a statement.
“Thereafter we will decide together, based on the law and evidence, whether criminal charges should be brought.”
The fatal shooting brings further scrutiny to the use of no-knock warrants and shines a spotlight on a police department that has faced criticism before.
The footage itself which was released after more than 36 hours of unanswered questions and calls for transparency over the shooting.
A day earlier the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that Locke pointed a loaded gun ‘in the direction of officers.’
An incident report said he had two wounds in the chest and one in the right wrist.
Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and prominent community activist said Locke’s family told her Locke was a licensed gun owner with a concealed carry permit, that he didn’t live in the apartment, that police had not been looking for him and that he wasn’t one of three suspects named in the warrant.
Locke´s mother, Karen Locke has hired Ben Crump, the civil rights lawyer who has has won huge settlements for the families of several people killed by police, including $27 million for the family of George Floyd.
Amir Locke’s parents joined by their attorneys including civil rights lawyer, Ben Crump, on Friday said the 22-year-old was “executed” by a Minneapolis SWAT team that woke him from a deep sleep, and that he reached in confusion for a legal firearm to protect himself.
Andre Locke and Karen Wells, described Amir as respectful, including to police, and said some of their relatives work in law enforcement. Wells said the couple coached their son on how to act and do “what they needed to do whenever they encountered police officers” because of the danger to “unarmed Black males.”
“My son was executed on 2-2 of 22,” Wells said.
“And now his dreams have been destroyed.”
The parents spoke at a news conference organized by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who said Locke’s family was “just flabbergasted at the fact that Amir was killed in this way” and disgusted at how the Wednesday morning raid was conducted.
The parents said their son was law-abiding, with no criminal record, and had a permit to carry a gun: “They didn’t even give him a chance,” Crump said, adding that it was shocking that Minneapolis police had not learned from the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a botched raid at her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2020, leading to calls for an end to no-knock warrants nationwide.
The police report states that Locke pointed a loaded gun “in the direction of officers.” An incident report said he had two wounds in the chest and one in the right wrist.
In a statement, Crump compared Locke’s shooting to the botched raid in which officers killed Breonna Taylor in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2020, which led to calls for change nationwide.
‘Like the case of Breonna Taylor, the tragic killing of Amir Locke shows a pattern of no-knock warrants having deadly consequences for Black Americans. This is yet another example of why we need to put an end to these kinds of search warrants so that one day, Black Americans will be able to sleep safely in their beds at night,’ Crump said.
Levy Armstrong posted a link to the video on social media ‘for those who can stomach the murderous conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department,’ adding: ‘The mother in me is furious and sick to my stomach. Amir never had a chance to survive that encounter with police.’
Interim Chief Amelia Huffman confirmed in a news conference after the video was released that Locke is not named in the warrants.
‘It isn’t clear how or whether Locke is connected to the homicide investigation, which is under the control of the St. Paul Police Department,’ Chief Huffman said, adding that the city had both knock and no-knock warrants.
That agency has released few details so far and the warrants weren’t publicly available Thursday.
But Mayor Jacob Frey said the video ‘raises about as many questions as it does answers’ and said the city was pursuing answers ‘as quickly as possible and in transparent fashion’ through investigations, including one by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.