Three days after Minneapolis police executed a warrant prohibiting the fatal shooting of Amir Locke, protests are expected to continue across the city as community members demand accountability for the death of a man whose family remembered as a “bright light”.
Car horns sounded in downtown Minneapolis on Friday as dozens of people gathered, temporarily blocking the street, during a protest by car trailers calling for the firing of officer Mark Hanneman, who shot on Locke Wednesday.
Body camera footage shows Hanneman shooting Locke, a black man, as the 22-year-old began to rise from under a blanket onto the couch he was resting on early Wednesday. Locke was holding a gun his family says he was in legal possession of.
“We will stay on the streets until justice is served,” protester Courtney Armborst told CBS, adding that they were there to support Locke’s family.
Earlier Friday, Locke’s family demanded that Hanneman be fired during a press conference at Minneapolis City Hall.
“As his mother, I will make sure that as long as I am on this side of this world, I will fight every day, all day long, 365 days, to make sure that Amir Rahkare Locke gets justice for being executed by the MPD,” Locke’s mother, Karen Wells, said.
Hanneman, who was hired in 2015, had three complaints against him that were closed without discipline, according to records released by the city. A fourth complaint against him from 2018 remains open, according to a database created by activist group Communities United Against Police Brutality.
Another protest is scheduled for Saturday. at the Hennepin County Government Center.
“I didn’t even give him a chance”:Minneapolis police ‘executed’ Amir Locke in no-hit raid, family says
What police body camera footage shows
Minneapolis Police Department officers were executing a search warrant early Wednesday as part of a homicide investigation in St. Paul, Minnesota, though Locke was not listed on the search warrant, Chief Amelia Huffman said .
“Mr. Locke was not named in the original search warrant, so at this point it’s unclear if or how he is related to the St. Paul investigation,” Huffman said Friday.
Body camera footage released Thursday after pressure from several state lawmakers and activists shows officers quietly opening the door of an apartment before loudly announcing their presence. Locke, who was wrapped in a blanket on the couch, begins to get up and can be seen holding a gun with his finger on the trigger. The police then fire three shots, hitting Locke twice in the chest and once in the wrist.
The confrontation lasted less than 10 seconds.
Locke’s father, Andre Locke, told reporters Friday that his 22-year-old son was “surprised” and did what “any reasonable, law-abiding citizen would do to protect himself.” Locke’s family members said they believe Locke was surprised when an officer kicked a couch in the apartment and didn’t realize who was inside when he kicked in. grabbed the gun.
Locke had no criminal record and had a license and concealed carry permit for the gun, his family said.
No-knock warrants:A growing legacy of controversies, revised laws, tragic deaths
Shooting reignites calls to end no-knock warrants
The shooting has reignited criticism of the Minneapolis Police Department and no-knock warrants, where officers do not knock before entering a residence. The method is widely considered high risk as it can confuse people inside who may be caught off guard.
Activists have also been pushing to remove no-knock warrants after the death of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police in 2020 during a failed raid on her home in Louisville, Kentucky. A Kentucky state law, dubbed “Breonna’s Law,” was passed in 2021 limiting the use of no-knock warrants.
Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants. In 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department changed its policy on no-knock warrants to require officers to announce their presence upon entering and to make periodic announcements inside.
Benjamin Crump, who represents Locke’s family, was among supporters who called for the raids to be banned.
“Minneapolis hasn’t learned the lesson of trying not to use the most intrusive measures when it comes to interactions with black people,” Crump said Friday.
Who was Amir Locke?
A budding hip-hop artist, Locke had filed paperwork to start a music business and had designed a logo, his mother said. He planned to move to Dallas next week to be closer to his family and help build his career.
“Amir was a shining light, and he deserves to be able to shine,” his father, Andre Locke, said at Friday’s press conference.
Locke was born in Maplewood, a suburb of St. Paul, and played basketball in school.
“You took a good boy who was trying to make the most of his environment, outdo it and succeed and he did,” said Reginald McClure, Locke’s cousin.
McClure said Locke had a “big heart” and remembered him standing in a parking lot to say goodbye to his grandmother after she died. Locke didn’t want to see her body in the funeral home casket, but after the funeral he went inside through a back door to be alone with her, McClure said.
“And here comes the crazy part,” he said. “The same funeral home he was heartbroken to go to see his grandmother because of the greatness of her heart, is the same one he’s going to be in.”
Contribute: The Associated Press