Amir Locke: two police officers involved already responsible for violence

Amir Locke, 22, was killed by a SWAT team, sparking protests in a city still reeling from the death of George Floyd.

Protesters continue to take to the streets of Minneapolis following the death of Amir Locke, who was shot and killed Wednesday morning by a Minnesota Police SWAT team.

Footage from the camera carried by one of the SWAT team members was released by the city on Thursday. The police were executing a search warrant in connection with a homicide. They discreetly entered the apartment with a key and then shouted: ” Police, search warrant“. The video shows Locke, a 22-year-old black man, sleeping on the couch as police enter. The police kick the couch, Locke turns around, revealing a gun nearby. An officer (later identified as Mark Hanneman) immediately opens fire, shooting Locke three times. About seven seconds elapse between the time the police enter the apartment and the time Locke, who was not a suspect in the search warrant, is killed.

Following the video’s release, protesters, along with members of Locke’s family, marched through downtown Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday, nearly two years after the death of George Floyd in the same city ​​sparked a nationwide protest, as well as a promise of police reform in Minneapolis.

Amir’s father, Andre Locke, who took part in the protest, appealed for calm in the aftermath of his son’s death, reports the New York Times. ” He was responsible. He didn’t deserve to have his life taken from him the way it was.Locke said at the protest. Why couldn’t my son bury me? Amir Locke, who did not reside in the apartment, was staying with his cousin at the time of the shooting, a family lawyer said.

On Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey temporarily banned the request and execution of arrest warrants ” to ensure public and officer safety until a new policy is developed » ; in November 2020, Jacob Frey announced policy changes that were to limit when SWAT could execute an arrest warrant. ” Except in limited and urgent circumstances, such as a hostage situation, police officers will be required to announce their presence and purpose before entering.“promised Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo at the time.

The police union Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis first released a statement on Wednesday in which it claimed that SWAT officer Hanneman took a ” split-second decision to save his life and that of his colleagues“. But on Saturday, after the camera footage aired, the new statement was more muted. ” The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will gather the facts necessary for the investigation and no conclusions should be made until the investigation is complete.“, said the union.

Locke’s parents appeared on CNN on Saturday, saying the gun their son had in his possession was legally owned and obtained. ” We have seen this time and time again, watching the situation with Ahmaud Arbery, Daunte Wright, George Floyd, and our hearts go out to those families.said Andre Locke. We have been educating our boys for years to always obey the law. Everyday. This is not a typical conversation in white households. »

Locke’s parents also noted the similarities between their son’s death and that of Breonna Taylor, who was killed while executing a search warrant in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020. Too many of us in our communities face this. There are too many people in our communities who continue to face this same type of harassmentsaid Andre Locke. It’s so unfortunate that it happened again, and now it’s affecting our home. It hurts. »

Even the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus criticized the shooting, issuing a statement of support for Locke, ” a legitimate gun owner” , Friday. ” Mr. Locke did what many of us would do in the same puzzling circumstances, he used a legal means of self-defense while trying to figure out what was going onsaid Rob Doar, senior vice-president of the group, in the press release. The tragic circumstances of Mr. Locke’s death were totally avoidable. This is yet another example where an arrest warrant resulted in the death of an innocent person. In this case, as in others, the public should expect and receive full transparency and accountability from law enforcement who serve and protect our local communities. »

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison promised an investigation. fair and thorough about Locke’s death. ” Amir Locke’s life mattered. He was only 22 and had his whole life ahead of him.does he have tweeted. His family and friends now have to live the rest of their lives without him. »

Daniel Kreps

Translated by the editor

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Amir Locke: two police officers involved already responsible for violence