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Minnesotans Reflect on George Floyd One Year Later

Source: Kent Nishimura / Getty

The case of Amir Locke, a Black man shot and killed by Minneapolis police in a dawn raid, is rapidly gaining national attention as another example of reckless behavior by law enforcement in a city still dealing with the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd.

Locke, a twenty-two-year-old Black man, was asleep on the couch in an apartment in the Balero Flats building downtown on Wednesday morning (February 2nd) in Minneapolis. According to a statement released by the department, police entered the apartment at 6:48 A.M. acting on a search warrant on three apartments in the building. In a follow-up press conference held later that day, interim police chief Amelia Huffman asserted that the officers “loudly and repeatedly announced ‘police search warrant’ before crossing the threshold into the apartment.” The officers entered the living room, kicking the couch and awakening Locke who was wrapped in a blanket. As he stirred, he was shot twice in the chest and once in the right wrist according to medical reports released to the public. He was given immediate medical aid but died in the hospital shortly after. According to Huffman, Locke had a firearm on him. A handgun was recovered at the scene, but Locke’s family informed reporters that he was licensed to carry a weapon in the state, and had no record of criminal history. They also said he didn’t live in that apartment.

The city of Minneapolis then released body camera footage on Thursday which appears to have slight deviations from the initial accounting provided by the police chief. Less than a minute in length, the video appears to show that Locke was shot ten seconds after officers entered the apartment. At a press conference held after the release of the footage, lawyer and community activist Nakeia Levy Armstrong testily challenged Huffman’s statements as well as Mayor Jacob Frey who was present, accusing them of shifting the narrative. She also stated that Locke was not named among the three suspects in the original search warrant. Benjamin Crump, who is one of the attorneys representing the Locke family, wrote in a statement that Locke’s killing is similar to the killing of Breonna Taylor, the young Black woman EMT shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky in May 2020.