Minneapolis and St. Paul Cops in Amir Locke’s Death Insisted No-Knock Warrants Are Safer

Before Amir Locke, 22, was killed by the SWAT team while he slept in a friend’s Minneapolis apartment, police convinced the judge to issue them a “prohibited” search warrant for their raid. by claiming that it would actually be safer.

That is According to newly released court documents provided to The Daily Beast by Minnesota’s Fourth Justice District, which stated the ban would “not only enhance officer safety, but also…reduce the risk of injury to suspects and other nearby residents.”

The documents go on to emphasize that “nocturnal searches between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. are necessary to prevent the loss, destruction, or displacement of the objects of the search or to protect the searcher. search or the public.”

But things didn’t go as advertised. Police shot Locke, a Black man armed with a handgun that his family said he legally possessed, during a pre-dawn raid on Feb. 2. The video shows A sneak peek of the murder shows that officers used the key to open the apartment door while shouting, “Police, search warrant, ground, damn ground!” One of the officers then kicked the sofa where Locke was sleeping, knocking him unconscious as he held the gun in his hand. In a flash, the police opened fire, shooting Locke – whose name was not on the warrant.

Minnesota Fourth Judicial District

The order, one of a series of related documents a judge ordered released on Thursday, relates to a homicide investigation being carried out by the St. Paul. The Minneapolis superintendent was there to assist, interim police chief Amelia Huffman said after the shooting. Minneapolis police are said to have insisted on the ban even though St. Paul did not ask.

On Tuesday, authorities announced they had arrested Locke’s cousin, Mekhi Speed, 17, on a charge of second-degree murder. He is accused of fatally shooting alleged drug dealer Otis Rodney Elder, 38, in what the subpoena describes as “a violent robbery,” on January 10. Speed’s brother, Marlon Speed , lived in the apartment where Locke was shot. Locke, who has no criminal record, owned a registered firearm for his own safety as a Doordash driver, his parents said.

After Elder’s death, investigators stitched together surveillance footage from the area around the crime scene. In it, a brightly colored Mercedes-Benz CLS250 can be seen “running away at high speed” from the site of the shooting, according to the warrant. Police later determined the Mercedes, a 2014 model year with a Massachusetts number plate, was stolen during a test drive in November. Since then, it has been “involved in numerous incidents in the subway, “according to the warrant.

On 7 January, the Mercedes was determined to have been “involved in the theft of the Maserati”, the subpoena explained, noting that the unnamed victim “seeks for assistance in locating his vehicle”. me via social network (Instagram).” The vehicle’s owner was then contacted by a tip, who sent a photo of the stolen Maserati from a video posted to his Instagram profile under the name “USA certification“Follow the warrant.

Police linked the Instagram account to a suspect – not Locke – and viewed additional posts showing the Mercedes. Four days after Elder was shot, officers discovered the account was live-streaming from an indoor pool, and appropriately decorated the pool area at Bolero Flats Apartments, according to orders.

Building management shared surveillance video with police, which according to the subpoena shows Speed ​​”attempting to manipulate and cover an item of his pants and coat,” which police believe ” was the gun used to kill the Elder.” Speed ​​and his associates “posted videos and photos on lnstagram of wielding various firearms to include a rifle, possibly a murder weapon,” according to the filing. “The suspects also posted video inside the Bolero Flats in the pool area showing them still operating in the Bolero Flats.”

Locke’s Parents disparage the killing of their son as one “Execution,” and family attorney Ben Crump described the unnecessary ban as having “fatal consequences for innocent, law-abiding Black citizens.”

“We’re not going to let them sweep Amir Locke’s death under the rug, as they tried to do initially,” he said at a news conference last week. “Black lives are worth it too. Obviously, in Minneapolis, we have to speak louder now.”

Some have put in place bans on enforcing the ban because it increases the risk of police shootings. After Locke’s death, the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, announced that he would end the use of the ban, and suspend the practice except in special cases. Frey ran for office last fall on a platform that included an alleged ban on the ban.

Minneapolis has long been the focus of serious tensions between the police and the Black community. Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, an unarmed Black man was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes as he struggled to breathe, protests broke out across the country. Chauvin is currently serving a 22-and-a-half year prison sentence on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said his office could prosecute Mark Hanneman, one of the SWAT officers involved in the Locke . shooting.

“We will be working with the Minnesota Department of Criminal Investigation to ensure a thorough and thorough review,” Freeman announced last Friday. “We will then decide together, based on the law and evidence, whether to bring criminal charges.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Locke’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

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