Who Is Amir Locke? Black Man Shot Dead During Minnesota Police Raid

Twenty-two-year-old Amir Locke was lying on a couch when he got shot dead by a SWAT team during an early morning raid on a Minneapolis apartment on Wednesday.

Body cam footage of the killing of the Black man raises new questions around no-knock warrants and increase tensions in the city where George Floyd was killed.

Locke was killed on Wednesday in a police raid at around 6.48 a.m., according to a press release released by Minneapolis Police.

The statement said police recovered a handgun from Locke, which was pointed towards the officers.

Amelia Huffman, the interim Minneapolis police chief, said on Wednesday in a news conference that officers "loudly and repeatedly announced 'police search warrant' before crossing the threshold into the apartment."

But Officers wore body worn cameras and footage was released of the incident by the police force on Thursday. The footage tells a slightly different story.

It shows police coming into the dark apartment, shouting and shooting Locke who is lying on his sofa with a gun in his hand. But it's not clear whether he was aware that the officers had entered the apartment.

""Hands, hands!" one officer is heard shouting in the video, while another yells "Get on the ground!".

One officer kicks the couch and Locke's gun becomes visible, before three shots are fired at Locke. He was shot twice in the chest, once in the right wrist, according to a medical report released by the city.

In less than 10 seconds, the entire encounter is over.

Huffman said doctors immediately provided medical aid, but the suspect died in hospital.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) responded and is conducting an independent investigation.

A report by the Associated Press said Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and community activist, said Locke's family told her Locke was a licensed gun owner with a concealed carry permit, and that he didn't live in the apartment.

Armstrong, whom the mayor appointed last year to co-chair a community safety work group, also said the police had not been looking for Locke and he wasn't one of the three suspects named in the warrant to search the building.

Benjamin Crump, one of the attorneys acting for Locke's family, in a statement compared Locke's killing to the killing of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville police during a no-knock warrant at her apartment in 2020.

Newsweek has contacted Crump for more comment.

Locke's killing is likely to inflame tensions and attitudes towards police in a city that was rocked by the death of Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed by a police officer in May 2020.

In June 2021, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22 and half years for Floyd's murder.

As well as Floyd's killing, there have been several police killings of Black people in the city in recent years.

amir locke shooting bodycam (for video)
Police body cam footage of a no-knock raid that resulted in the police killing of Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man.