Amir Locke: Hundreds in Minneapolis protest police killing of Black man in raid

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Updated: Feb 06, 2022, 05:16 PM(IST)

Hundreds gathered in cold weather during a rally in protest of the killing of Amir Locke, outside the Police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota Photograph:( AFP )

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At least 500 demonstrators rallied at Government Plaza in Minnesota's largest city three days after Locke, 22, was shot on his couch by police

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of downtown Minneapolis demanding justice in the fatal police shooting of a young Black man, Amir Locke, during a "no-knock" raid on his apartment earlier this week.

At least 500 demonstrators rallied at Government Plaza in Minnesota's largest city three days after Locke, 22, was shot on his couch by police.

The crowd assembled in below-freezing temperatures, demanding an unconditional ban on no-knock warrants, the dismissal and arrest of officers involved in the shooting, and the resignation of the mayor and police chief.

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Authorities in the northern US city, still reeling from the police murder of George Floyd in 2020, said Amir Locke, 22, was shot Wednesday by officers carrying out a search warrant on the apartment he was in.

In the video, an officer uses a key to unlock the door and then a group of officers enter while shouting "Police, search warrant!"

Locke, who was on a couch, starts to rise from beneath a blanket, with a gun in his hand, when police fire.

Also read | Minneapolis suspends no-knock warrants after police killing

The total time between the officers' entrance and the shots fired was less than ten seconds. Locke was pronounced dead at hospital.

The day after the killing, police released video footage from the raid, which showed Locke was holding a gun as he twisted beneath a blanket on his sofa after being roused by officers moments before he was slain.

Police have said the officers were exercising a "no-knock" search warrant, which authorizes police to enter private property without first alerting occupants or announcing their presence.

Also read | George Floyd’s 4-year-old niece shot in her Houston home

The warrant was issued in relation to a homicide probe led by detectives from the neighboring Saint Paul Police Department. Locke was not named in the warrant, and Minneapolis police have acknowledged it was unclear how or whether he was connected to that investigation.

Locke's death has reopened the wounds caused by the killing of Floyd in May 2020, when white ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

To ease tensions now, Minnesota state attorney general Keith Ellison promised to conduct a "fair and thorough" investigation of the events.

"Amir Locke's life mattered," he said, alluding to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Without predicting the outcome of the investigation, Minnesota's Democratic governor Tim Walz said the circumstances of Locke's death "illustrate the need for further reform" on the police force beyond the changes made after Floyd's death, particularly the execution of search warrants.

(With inputs from agencies)

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