Police release bodycam footage from officers who shot Amir Locke

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension released all evidence connected to the February killing in Minneapolis

Abe Asher
Wednesday 13 April 2022 01:24
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Hundreds of students walk out of school to protest police killing of Amir Locke

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has released all evidence, including body camera footage, from the raid that resulted in the controversial killing of 22-year-old Amir Locke in Minneapolis.

All 12 officers who took part in the February raid were wearing body cameras, giving the public numerous perspectives of how the raid transpired. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also released hundreds of photographs of the raid.

Mr Locke was staying at an apartment in downtown Minneapolis that was being rented by his cousin, a man whose brother was a person of interest in a killing in St. Paul in January.

Mr Locke was asleep when a Minneapolis Police Department SWAT team, executing a no knock warrant on behalf of St. Paul Police, used a key to unlock the door and rushed into the apartment just before 7am on 2 February screaming “police” and “search warrant.”

An officer kicked the couch where Mr Locke was sleeping, at which point Mr Locke sat up and turned toward the intruding officers holding a gun.

Officer Mark Hanneman then shot Mr Locke three times, twice in the chest. Mr Locke died roughly 15 minutes later. Only ten seconds elapsed from the time when the officers entered the apartment to when Mr Hanneman shot Mr Locke.

The killing immediately raised questions about the embattled Minneapolis Police Department, which has a long history of racism and was nearly disbanded by voters and replaced with a Department of Public Safety in a 2022 ballot measure that ultimately failed but received 44 per cent of the vote in Minnesota’s largest city.

St. Paul Police said that they applied for knock-and-announce warrant, but that Minneapolis police insisted on a no-knock warrant. Mr Locke was not named anywhere in the warrant, nor was he a person of interest in the killing under investigation.

He had planned to move to Dallas to pursue a music career the week after his death.

Mr Locke had a permit to carry the handgun he raised after being awoken by the officers. Mr Locke’s cousin only found out Mr Locke had been killed during police interviews following the shooting.

In the days after the killing, hundreds of people in Minneapolis demanded justice for Mr Locke in protests in both in the city’s downtown and outside the home of Minneapolis police chief Amelia Huffman.

Several days later, thousands of students in both Minneapolis and St. Paul walked out of class and demonstrated at the governor’s mansion.

Mr Hanneman was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a review from the Hennepin County District Attorney’s office and the state Attorney General’s office.

Last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman announced that they would not file charges against Mr Hanneman for the killing.

Mr Ellison, the former congressman who successfully prosecuted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd last year, said that “it would be unethical for us to file charges in a case in which we know that we will not able to prevail because the law does not support the charges.”

Still, the killing of Mr Locke has prompted significant changes in Minneapolis. Mayor Jacob Frey placed a moritorium on no knock warrants in the city in the days following the killing, and officially banned the city’s police department from requesting or executing no-knock warrants last week.

Under the city’s new policy, officers will be required to clearly announce themselves and wait 20 seconds before entering a premises to execute a warrant and 30 seconds for warrants executed between 8pm and 7am.

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