Minneapolis officials released body-worn cam footage from a Minneapolis officer who fatally shot Amir Locke just 36 hours after the incident.
In the graphic video, an officer inserts a key into a lock. After the door was open, four Minneapolis police officers ran into the room shouting, “Police search warrant!” They then moved towards Locke’s bed on a couch covered in a fleece blanket. Locke, disturbed by the noise, appears to grab his gun, prompting Officer Mark Hanneman to fire three shots.
Officials wanted to make sure the family could see the footage. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey stated, “That is a non negotiable for us.”
The autopsy report has not yet been released by the medical examiner.
Officials claim that the raid on February 2nd was part of a ongoing investigation into homicide in St. Paul. The Minneapolis police SWAT team executed both knock-and-no-knock searches warrants in three apartments of the building. They also obtained “evidence from Locke’s apartment.”
“It is evident that Mr. Locke was awakened by a cacophony indiscernibly shouting and felt his life in danger when he reached out for his lawfully-owned firearm,” said Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) in a statement.
Amelia Huffman, Interim Chief of Minneapolis Police, stated at a Thursday evening press conference that Locke wasn’t named in the original search warrant.
Locke’s family members and friends claim he was allowed to carry. Activists at a late afternoon press conference criticised the City for publishing photos of the gun that had been recovered but not the officer’s gun.
Locke was also free from any criminal history and had no outstanding warrants for arrest in the seven Metro areas counties when he died.
Officer Hanneman seems to have dedicated his life to law enforcement. He has served stints in Minneapolis and Brookings, S.D. as well as Hutchinson (located 55 miles west from Minneapolis) since 2006. He appears to have also recently graduated from Concordia University of St. Paul’s Masters in Criminal Justice program. His thesis was on school resources officers. He was previously a Minneapolis school resource officer.
Hanneman was named in two federal lawsuits as a defendant during his time as a Hutchinson officer. In one case, he was accused of giving marijuana to Occupy Minnesota activists in a training exercise. He was later dropped from the list of defendants. He also conducted an unwarranted search of someone who was giving a friend a ride back, which led to a $4,500 judgment against him, his coworkers, and the City.
According to CUAPB Hanneman’s Minneapolis tenure resulted with four citizen complaints. Three of these were closed without discipline.
Nekima Levy, a civil rights activist and lawyer, criticized Mayor Frey’s handling of the incident. She also blamed Chief Huffman for failing to care about Minneapolis residents while at the same time blaming the St. Paul Police Department.
“We are tired of the lies and excuses. It is unacceptable to cover up the St. Paul Police Department as the most violent police force in Minnesota. “You all had no business agreeing that a warrant would be executed and now you’re claiming that it’s part their investigation,” Levy Armstrong stated as she tried to hold back tears. She also noted a photo of Amir, which reminded her of her 17 year-old son.
She threatened to resign as Frey’s co-chair for Frey’s police reform task group, shortly after Frey was re-elected, while she was talking with Huffman.
. This group is charged with making recommendations for improving policing in Minneapolis. Recently, Sheila Nezhad, a community organizer , left over transparency concerns.
Levy Armstrong stated, “I am only going to work on this group if you are all committed to being transparent and honest and not covering up the bullsh*t.” “You guys won’t waste my godd*mn money.”
Attorneys Jeff Storms and Ben Crump are representing Locke’s family. They also represented Daunte Wright and George Floyd after their respective deaths by local police. They will host a virtual press conference Friday morning.