Minneapolis — A Black man who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police as they executed a search warrant in a homicide investigation was wrapped in a blanket on a couch when SWAT officers entered the apartment, and displayed a handgun as they shouted at him to show his hands and get on the ground, police body camera video shows.
Police identified the man on Thursday as 22-year-old Amir Locke.
Public information documents released Thursday evening confirm that Officer Mark Hanneman fatally shot him Wednesday morning, CBS Minneapolis reports, adding that police said a loaded handgun was recovered at the scene.
The Minneapolis Police Department stated Wednesday in a statement that Locke had pointed a loaded firearm “in the direction” of officers. According to an incident report, he sustained two injuries in his chest and one on the right side of the wrist.
The body cam video displays the footage in slow and fast speeds. It shows an officer using a key to unlock the door and enter, followed by at least four officers in uniform and protective vests, time-stamped at about 6: 48 a.m. As they enter, they repeatedly shout, “Police, search warrant!” The officers also shouted “Hands!” They also shout “Hands!” and “Get down!” A video of Locke emerging from under a blanket with a gun shows Locke kicking a sofa section. The video is ended after three shots.
A still of Locke with the gun in his hand, and his trigger finger pointing away from the barrel was also added by the city. It is only visible where Locke sits.
Nekima LEVY Armstrong is a prominent civil rights lawyer and community activist who was appointed by the mayor last year to co-chair a group on community safety. She said Locke’s relatives told her that Locke was licensed as a gun owner and had a concealed carry permit. He didn’t live at the apartment and police hadn’t been searching for him.
Interim chief Amelia Huffman stated that the city has both knock-and no-knock warrants.
She stated in a press conference that Locke wasn’t listed in warrants. It is unclear how Locke was connected to the investigation into homicide, she stated. She also said that the St. Paul Police Department is responsible for the matter. The warrants were not made public Thursday by the agency, which has so far only released a few details.
Mayor Jacob Frey stated that the video raises as many questions and answers as the question itself and stated that the city is pursuing the answers in a transparent and fast-paced manner through various investigations, including the one conducted by the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
CBS News reached out to Minneapolis Police Department to get comment.
Huffman stated at the news conference, that Hanneman was currently in an extremely difficult situation.
The still shows Hanneman holding the gun in his hands at the optimal moment of lighting. She said that that was the time when an officer needed to quickly assess the situation and determine whether there was an imminent threat. He also had to decide if he believed that there was a threat of great bodily harm, death or harm and that he would need to act immediately to safeguard himself and his colleagues.
Hanneman was hired in 2015. The city released three complaints without revealing details. Data on the website of the citizen group Communities United Against Police Brutality showed a fourth complaint, in 2018, that remains open. We were not able to provide any details.
Levy Armstrong shared a link on social media to the clip “for those who are able stomach the brutal conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department.” Elle added that “the mother in me” is furious, and I am sick to my stomach. Amir was never able to escape that confrontation with the police.
At their press conference, she and others confronted Levy Armstrong and the mayor. Levy Armstrong called the release of city information the “anatomy of a covering-up.” A third activist attacked the two for Wednesday’s news release that called Locke a “suspect.” “
Locke’s mother Karen Locke declined to speak to The Associated Press on Thursday. She referred questions to Ben Crump, the family’s attorney.
The civil rights lawyer has won huge settlements for the families of several people killed by police, including $27 million for the family of George Floyd. Crump, along with the family were shown the video prior to it being released publicly. They planned a press conference on Friday.
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. The tragic death of Amir Locke demonstrates a trend of no-knock warrants that have deadly consequences for Black Americans, just like the case with Breonna Taylor. Crump stated that this is another reason why search warrants should be ended so that Black Americans can sleep peacefully at night.
Huffman stated that the city was subject to both knock-and no-knock warrants.
A number of state legislators from Minneapolis joined Levy Armstrong’s call for public body-camera footage. They wrote to Frey and Huffman insisting that transparency and accountability in police actions are key to trust.
On Wednesday, the city posted photos and reports from the site of the incident.
Minneapolis leaders and police officers often withhold videos from the dashboard and body cameras of cops for several weeks, or even months. They cite ongoing investigations.
However, this is not always the case.
In December 2020, after an officer shot Dolal Idd at a gas station on Minneapolis’ south side, the city released video the next day, saying it showed that the man had fired at officers first. And last April, police in suburban Brooklyn Center released video the day after the shooting of Daunte Wright, saying it showed that Officer Kim Potter apparently intended to use her Taser but drew her gun by accident. Potter was found guilty of manslaughter on December.
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