Minneapolis City Council to review no-knock warrants after Amir Locke shooting

A Minneapolis City Council committee will hold a no-knock warrant hearing Monday afternoon following the death of Amir Locke, who was fatally shot in an apartment by Minneapolis police officers on Wednesday during the execution of a no knock warrant.

Activists and lawyers from the Locke family will likely be on hand to discuss banning such warrants.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a moratorium on no-knock warrants Friday night in response to the fatal incident.

“No matter what information comes to light, it will not change the fact that Amir Locke’s life was cut short,” Frey said in a statement. “To ensure the safety of the public and officers until a new policy is developed, I am issuing a moratorium on the request and execution of such warrants in Minneapolis.”

However, officials can execute a no-knock warrant under the moratorium if it is determined that there is an imminent threat of harm to an individual or the public. The chief must approve the mandate in these cases, according to the mayor.

Frey will speak with the experts who helped shape Breonna’s law to review and suggest revisions to department policy. The law, signed into law in Louisville, Ky., in 2020, banned no-knock warrants following the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

The Minneapolis Police Department updated its policy in November 2020, limiting no-knock warrants to “demanding” cases.

Minneapolis police officers are required to announce their presence and purpose before entering a home, except when announcing the officers’ presence would create an imminent threat.

In these cases, a supervisor can allow agents to enter without announcing their presence. Supervisors are required to provide evidence to support this decision before it is signed and approved by the judge.

“It’s about developing proactive policies and building accountability,” Frey said in a statement announcing the new policy. “We can’t prevent all tragedies, but we can limit the likelihood of bad outcomes. This new no-knock warrant policy will establish common expectations for our community and clear, objective standards within the department. »

At a press conference Friday regarding Locke’s death, Acting Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman said that “a search warrant and a search warrant have been obtained … so that the SWAT team can assess the circumstances and make the best decision possible” in the Locke case.

Body camera footage released Thursday shows officers executing a search warrant before coming across Locke, 22, who was sleeping under a blanket on the couch in the apartment for which the warrant was issued.

He is seen holding a gun as he begins to sit up, still covered in the blanket before being shot less than 10 seconds after officers entered the room.

Huffman said that when officers saw the weapon, “that’s when the officer had to make a split-second decision to assess the circumstances and determine if he felt there was had an articulate threat.”

Locke was not named in the no-knock warrant, family attorney Ben Crump said at the press conference. The warrant was executed on behalf of St. Paul police, who were looking for a homicide suspect.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Locke’s death a homicide.

The officer who shot and killed Locke has been identified by police as Mark Hanneman. As per policy, he was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the incident. It is unclear if Hanneman has legal representation.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will work with the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office to review Locke’s death, the office said in a news release Friday.

Locke’s murder sparked protests demanding justice for his murder. Hundreds of demonstrators chanted: “Who is down with the revolution? We are down with the revolution! and “No justice, no peace”, as they marched to the police station on Saturday.

A caravan of cars also stopped at what ABC affiliate KSTP reported may be Huffman’s home. Protesters got out of their car in front of the house chanting and beating drums.

ABC News

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