Amir Locke protesters in Minneapolis, MN., called for the resignation of Amelia Huffman, the Minneapolis police chief, after a 22-year-old Black man was fatally shot inside his own home. A caravan of vehicles paraded the streets Sunday morning, later gathering around Huffman’s neighborhood and demanding accountability.
The protest was organized by the Racial Justice Network and other police watchdog groups, consisting of around 50 cars. On Saturday, hundreds of protesters marched the streets in Minneapolis, meeting outside the Hennepin County Government Center.
“We’re asking for her job,” activist Toussaint Morrison declared through a microphone outside Huffman’s neighborhood, “because it seems like the only time they pay attention is when it affects their jobs or their money. But we pull up when it affects our lives.”
WARNING: The images and video below are extremely graphic and violent and could be disturbing to viewers.
The incident occurred this past Wednesday, Feb. 2, when officers performed a no-knock search warrant and fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke. The SWAT team entered his house in downtown Minneapolis without warning and found him sleeping. Startled by the intruders, he grabbed his pistol. Police fired before Amir even knew what was happening.
In bodycam video of the attack, a police officer can be seen kicking the couch where Locke was sleeping. He was beginning to wake up when an officer fired his weapon.
Andre Locke and Karen Wells, Amir’s parents, said that their son was “executed” by Minneapolis police. Two days later, Mayor Jacob Frey put a moratorium on no-knock search warrants.
“No matter what information comes to light, it won’t change the fact that Amir Locke’s life was cut short,” Frey said in an official statement on Friday.
Protesters outside Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman’s neighborhood on Sunday chanted Amir’s name along with Breonna Taylor’s, a Black woman who was killed in another botched police raid. Breonna’s Law, an initiative that seeks to ban no-knock search warrants nationally, is currently being considered by Mayor Frey after it passed in Louisville, KY.
In a press conference, Police Chief Huffman complicated matters when she stated that Amir Locke’s name was not listed in the search warrant, and that it wasn’t clear how he was connected to the homicide investigation.
According to CBS News, the alleged search warrant remains under seal as Locke as the investigation remains ongoing. Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial into Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd, reportedly signed off on the no-knock search warrant for Amir Locke.
“The still shot shows the image of the firearm in the subject’s hands, at the best possible moment when the lighting was fully on him,” Amelia Huffman stated. “That’s the moment when the officer had to make a split-second decision to assess the circumstances and to determine whether he felt like there was an articulable threat, that the threat was of imminent harm, great bodily harm or death, and that he needed to take action right then to protect himself and his partners.”
The Minneapolis police chief did not comment on the ethical practice of no-knock search warrants or current talks to ban its use. According to AP News, Amelia Huffman became the interim police chief back in 2015 and as had three complaints made against her. No details are given about the complaints, but all of them were reportedly closed without discipline.
The shooting of Amir Locke came as George Floyd‘s murder reentered the courthouse last week, as prosecutors seek to punish the three officers present during the attack who did not intervene.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison stated that he would review the matter “guided by the values of accountability and transparency,” adding that, “Amir Locke’s life mattered.”