Protesters gather in reaction to the fatal shooting of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police
Hundreds of people took to the streets of downtown Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon, many carrying signs reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Frey Lied, Amir is dead’, days after Amir Locke was shot dead by a Minneapolis police SWAT team executing a no-knock warrant on behalf of a St. Paul Police Department homicide investigation.
A police body camera clip of the incident was released Thursday evening, sparking questions and community outrage over the apparent discrepancies between officials’ account and what the video shows.
WATCH: City leaders address release of body camera footage on Thursday night
Some of the protesters’ demands included calls for the resignation of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the resignation of Acting Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman, Officer Mark Hanneman – who shot Locke – as well as the others officers who served the warrant to be fired and prosecuted, the judge who signed the resignation of the no-knock warrant and for the permanent ban of the no-knock warrants.
“I’m here because I want to be alive and not another hashtag. It means a lot to me personally,” Sol B., of Minneapolis, said at the protest. “A lot of things went through my mind, like, yet another black man, yet another, yet another innocent person another victim of no knock warrants because it’s happened before, and it’s like anytime it could be me, it could be someone I know, it could be someone I love.
“I’m a little numb, this thing happens a lot,” said 16-year-old Mercy. “Most often it’s not even shown on the news. But each time, it’s as if it could have been my cousin, my brothers, my friends.
Mercy wanted action from Congress, “and serious action, not just words, not just luck,” she said. “I want them to actually come in, write laws and support them. And to do the thing that we put them in power to do… I want them to take that as seriously as we do, because it’s our lives, it’s our families. they are our brothers, they are our children, they are our friends, and that is important.
RELATED: Family and Activists Call for Officer Who Shot Amir Locke to Be Quickly Fired and Prosecuted
At a news conference after the body camera footage aired Thursday, Huffman said Locke was not named in the search warrant and that “at this point, it’s unclear if he’s related.” to the St. Paul Inquiry or how”.
On Saturday, the Minneapolis Federation of Police Officers issued a statement, which said in part:
“Policing, especially with a SWAT team, is a dangerous and highly stressful profession where officers are forced to make critical split-second decisions to defend themselves and their colleagues, especially when weapons are involved. Weapons are drawn and used when officers face significant security threats... No officer goes into a dangerous environment like this wanting to use a weapon. This decision was not taken lightly, and the impact of the use of deadly force will affect these officers, their families and Mr. Locke’s family for the rest of their lives.“
MINNEAPOLIS FEDERATION OF POLICE OFFICERS
On Friday, Frey announced a moratorium on no-knock warrants, pausing on their application and use, but barring an imminent threat of harm.
RELATED: Minneapolis Mayor Frey Announces Moratorium on No-Knock Warrants
As Minneapolis officers executed the warrant for St. Paul, the SPPD said Friday that the agency tasked with serving the warrant determines what tactics will be used — in this case, that is, MPD. SPPD spokesman Steve Linders also noted that the SPPD has not executed a no-knock warrant within the city limits of St. Paul since 2016.
On Saturday, Frey’s office provided a new statement regarding the moratorium:
“Mayor Frey’s policy prohibiting the execution of unannounced entries while executing no-knock warrants has been in effect since November 30, 2020. As investigators examine this policy in the context of the murder of Amir Locke , the fact remains that Amir Locke was killed. For this reason, Mayor Frey has instituted a moratorium on the receipt or execution of any no-knock warrants, announced and unannounced, until the policy can be reviewed by outside experts.
CABINET OF MAYOR FREY
Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday that he and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will work together to review Locke’s death. Additionally, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the police shooting.
Also on Friday, Locke’s parents and national civil rights lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci called for justice and accountability.
“No-knock warrants have deadly consequences for innocent, law-abiding black citizens,” Crump said, adding that he was “shocked” that another deadly police incident had taken place in Minnesota despite the wishes for change and reform from city and state leaders. .
RELATED: Amir Locke’s Lawyers and Parents Call for Justice After Body Camera Video of His Death Emerges