Minneapolis Police Video Shows Officer Killing Armed Man on Couch

By |2022-02-03T22:35:41-05:00February 3rd, 2022|Breonna Taylor|

Amir Locke, 22, was fatally shot as the police carried out a search warrant. He was lying under a blanket until an officer kicked the couch, revealing a gun, body camera video shows.The Minneapolis Police Department on Thursday released body camera footage of its SWAT team fatally shooting a man who was lying on a couch under a blanket when they entered an apartment to carry out a warrant before 7 a.m.The man, Amir Locke, 22, had a gun in his hand, the video shows, but it is unclear whether he was aware that police officers had entered the apartment.The graphic and brief video shows an officer quietly turning a key in the apartment door before several officers file in and begin to yell.“Hands, hands!” one officer is heard shouting in the video.“Get on the ground!” another yelled.One officer kicked the back of the couch, jarring Mr. Locke and making the gun visible. In response, the police fired at least three times.The entire encounter took less than 10 seconds.The SWAT team had been carrying out a warrant on Wednesday morning for the Saint Paul Police Department’s homicide unit. The Minneapolis Police Department released the body camera video on Thursday night, along with related documents, but did not immediately respond to requests for comment.In a news release published the day of the shooting, the Police Department said that officers “loudly and repeatedly announced their presence” before they “encountered a male who was armed with a handgun pointed in the direction of officers.”“At one point, shots were fired,” the release continued, “and the adult male suspect was struck.”The office of Ben Crump, a lawyer representing Mr. Locke’s family, said in a statement that Mr. Locke did not appear to be the subject of the warrant and that he “legally possessed a firearm at the time of his death.”Mr. Crump compared the shooting of Mr. Locke, who is Black, to the killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker who was fatally shot by Louisville police officers in March 2020 during a botched raid on her apartment.“The tragic killing of Amir Locke shows a pattern of no-knock warrants having deadly consequences for Black Americans,” Mr. Crump said. “This is yet another example of why we need to put an end to these kinds of search warrants so that one day, Black Americans will be able to sleep safely in their beds at night.”Jeff Storms, another lawyer representing Mr. Locke’s family, said Mr. Locke and his family had “needlessly suffered the worst possible outcome.”“Our city has to do better,” Mr. Storms said.The Police Department said in a statement that one officer fired shots at Mr. Locke, and it released the personnel file of Officer Mark Hanneman. The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is conducting an investigation into the shooting.