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Tipsheet

Cops Who Killed Minnesota Man During No-Knock Raid Could Face Criminal Charges

AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa

The Minnesota Attorney General is considering bringing criminal charges against the police officers involved in last week's shooting death of a 22-year-old black man that occurred during an early morning no-knock raid.

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Amir Locke was fatally shot by police during a no-knock raid after they entered an apartment where he was spotted asleep on a couch. The search warrant was being performed in connection to a homicide investigation that Locke was not involved in.

As the police entered, they announced their presence, shouting, "Police!" and "Get on the ground!" Locke, who was not listed as a suspect in the warrant, had aimed a gun at the officers when they entered, apparently not realizing the individuals who woke him and barged into the residence were cops. Police then shot and killed Locke. His family said he had obtained the gun legally.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who will work with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, said in a statement that their offices "will decide together, based on the law and evidence, whether criminal charges should be brought."

"Amir Locke's life mattered, Ellison's office said in a statement. "He was only 22 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. His family and friends must now live the rest of their lives without him. I promise the Locke family and all Minnesotans that we will work with the Hennepin County Attorney's Office to conduct a fair and thorough review of the BCA investigation and that we will be guided by the values of accountability and transparency."

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Locke's killing has sparked outrage in Minneapolis, where there have been successful prosecutions in the cases of Kimberly Potter, who killed a young man last year after mistaking her gun for a taser, and Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd in May 2020 after kneeling on his neck for several minutes.

The recent killing of Locke has also raised concerns about the use of no-knock raids, the same technique that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor in 2020.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) announced last week that the use of no-knock or unannounced warrants could only be executed when there is an "imminent threat of harm to an individual or the public." 

"The warrant must be approved by the Chief," he said.

Protestors are calling for the firing or resignation of interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman and officer Mark Hanneman, who activists claim are the officers that killed Locke.

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