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Minnesota BCA turns investigation into Amir Locke killing over to prosecutors

Amir Locke’s killing drew attention to the dangers of no-knock warrants and led some lawmakers to propose a statewide ban. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also is implementing a policy that prohibits the use of no-knock warrants in all but the most extreme cases.

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A screen capture of a police body camera video shows the Minneapolis SWAT team enter an apartment where police fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke on Feb. 2.
Courtesy of Minneapolis Police Department
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ST. PAUL -- The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office this week confirmed the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s probe into the police killing of Amir Locke is in the hands of prosecutors who’ll now review the evidence for possible charges.

Officials declined any comment beyond confirming the status of the investigation.

Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman shot and killed Locke Feb. 2 when a SWAT team raided a downtown apartment.

A brief body camera excerpt released by the city showed officers opening the door of the apartment where the 22-year-old was staying, then shouting “police” and “search warrant.”

Seconds later, Locke is seen stirring from underneath a blanket and holding a handgun just before Hanneman shoots him.

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Amir Locke.jpg
Amir Locke
Courtesy of the Locke family via Jeff Storms

According to his family, Locke had no criminal record and was a legal gun owner. The family said Locke bought a gun because he feared for his safety while working as a food delivery driver.

They said he was likely startled awake and grabbed his gun out of fear, pointing it at the ground in keeping with owner training.

Locke was not named in the warrant, which was part of a St. Paul homicide investigation. Police later arrested Locke’s 17-year-old cousin, who’s charged with murder in the case.

Locke’s killing drew attention to the dangers of no-knock warrants and led some lawmakers to propose a statewide ban. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also is implementing a policy that prohibits the use of no-knock warrants in all but the most extreme cases.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has said he will play an assisting role in this case. Ellison’s office took over the prosecution of other officer-involved killings in recent years including in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTSAMIR LOCKE
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