A Minneapolis police SWAT team killed 22-year-old Amir Locke on Wednesday morning

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Tia Andersonhttps://teawithtia.org
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When will this end? Another innocent black life was taken at the hands of the police.

On Wednesday morning, a Minneapolis police officer working as part of a SWAT team shot and killed Amir Locke using a raid tactic that the city and its Democratic mayor, Jacob Frey, had said they would ban in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

At 6:47am, SWAT entered the apartment using a key. Upon entering, police saw 22-year-old Amir Locke sleeping on his friend’s couch. Locke was shot within nine seconds of the police entering the downtown apartment. Police confirmed, after releasing body-camera footage Thursday night, that the SWAT team conducted a no-knock raid—a controversial tactic cops used in Louisville, Kentucky, when they killed Breonna Taylor, and which politicians had said they would ban in Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd. Police saw that Locke had his hand on a gun, but due to the lack of warning before police entered the apartment, the speed at which they entered, and the yelling in the apartment, it must have been difficult for Locke to determine that the loud, armed men who broke into the apartment were police officers. Check out the body cam footage below:

The horrific death calls into question whether Minneapolis’ leaders, like the freshly reelected Mayor Frey, after two years of protests, uprisings, more police killings, and two separate officers now convicted of murder and manslaughter, have taken to heart the message of a need for substantive change.

There was a press conference held Thursday evening by Frey and Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman, Huffman confirmed that the SWAT team, which was working on behalf of the city of St. Paul’s police department, had been issued a no-knock arrest warrant. On Friday morning, It was reported that St. Paul police had not requested a no-knock warrant from a judge, but when Minneapolis police moved to execute the warrant on the other department’s behalf, “MPD insisted the warrant be changed to authorize it be executed without first knocking.”

During the press conference Huffman pointed to Locke’s gun trying to justify the officer’s shooting Locke. “As there’s a gun emerging in your direction, you’re forced to make a split second decision about when it’s a threat,” she said. Rob Doar of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus released a statement on Friday morning that read, “Mr. Locke did what many of us might do in the same confusing circumstances, he reached for a legal means of self-defense while he sought to understand what was happening.” 

The Minneapolis Police Department has been under intense scrutiny following the murder of Floyd, a Black man whose killing by a White MPD officer sparked national and global protests against police brutality — particularly toward Black Americans.
Locke’s fatal shooting raised intense criticism from Locke’s family and others about Minneapolis’ warrant policy. Protest have already begun in the city.

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