Amir Locke killed by MPD officer, investigation begins

After entering an apartment with a no-knock search warrant, an MPD officer shot and killed Locke on Feb. 2, bringing up conversations around no-knock warrants.

Community+activists+lead+chants+as+the+protestors+march+towards+the+1st+Minneapolis+Police+Precinct+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+5%2C+2022.+The+protest+was+held+to+honor+Amir+Locke%2C+who+was+fatally+shot+by+Minneapolis+Police+officer+Mark+Hanneman+earlier+that+week.

Andrew Stoup

Community activists lead chants as the protestors march towards the 1st Minneapolis Police Precinct on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. The protest was held to honor Amir Locke, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis Police officer Mark Hanneman earlier that week.

by Hanna Van Den Einde

Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman shot and killed Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, on Feb. 2 at a downtown Minneapolis apartment, which has launched an investigation into the killing and reignited a push to ban no-knock warrants.

Locke’s killing by Hanneman prompted protests in Minneapolis over the weekend, with activists calling for the city to fire and criminally charge Hanneman, fire MPD Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman and for Mayor Jacob Frey to resign. Activists also said they want no-knock warrants to be banned.

Around 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, police entered the Bolero Flats apartment building with a no-knock warrant from the St. Paul Police Department Homicide Unit. Both a standard warrant and a no-knock warrant were obtained.

The body camera footage shows that Hanneman shot Locke within nine seconds of entering the apartment. Locke was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died due to gunshot wounds.

Huffman said at a Feb. 3 press conference that Locke was not named in the search warrant.

Jill Oliveira, the Public Information Officer for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), said in an email to the Minnesota Daily that the BCA is conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

“When the investigation is complete, the BCA will provide its findings to the Attorney General’s office without recommendation for review,” Oliviera said.

The Attorney General’s office will decide what to do with information from the investigation. Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement he will be working with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to conduct a review of the BCA investigation and determine if they are going to bring charges against the officers involved in the shooting.

In response to Locke’s shooting, Mayor Frey announced he was imposing an immediate moratorium on both the request and execution of no-knock warrants on Feb. 4. The city will be working with two experts to review and revise MPD’s policy. These experts helped put together “Breonna’s Law,” a Louisville, Ky. law that limits no-knock warrants put in place after the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Minneapolis protesters take to the streets again

In the weekend Hanneman killed Locke, there were several protests. Protesters held car caravans over the weekend and led a march downtown on Saturday.

Trahern Crews, a leader from Black Lives Matter Minnesota, said he was angry when he learned that Hanneman killed Locke and the no-knock warrant.

“He did what he was supposed to do, he had a legal right to carry,” Crews said. “He was sleeping on the couch and the Minneapolis Police Department executed him.”

Crews added that he was hoping to see police accountability and reform going forward.

“With this instance, we want to see that officer charged and sent to prison and anybody else responsible for [his death],” Crews said. “The general public is just fed up with seeing innocent Black men murdered by the police … There’s no excuse why the George Floyd Act hasn’t passed. There’s no excuse why the Breonna Taylor Act hasn’t passed.”