No-Knock Warrant Tied to Amir Locke's Death Issued Over 'Violent' History

The no-knock warrant that led to the police shooting of Amir Locke in a Minneapolis apartment was requested because of the "history of violent crimes" of the intended suspect, not Locke, newly released court records show.

The 17-year-old suspect in a January killing was identified in charging documents as Locke's cousin, WCCO reported. Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, was shot and killed less than 10 seconds after police entered the apartment listed in the warrant. Locke did not live in the apartment, which belonged to the suspect's brother, WCCO-TV reported, but family members said Locke was staying there with a friend.

"A criminal history review of the known suspects in this homicide revealed that they have history of violent crimes," the request states. "The suspects have been posting videos and photos on Instagram holding several different firearms to include rifle, possibly the murder weapon."

Earlier this week, it was reported that the teen suspect named in the original warrant had been arrested and that the warrant was likely signed by Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted for killing George Floyd.

Cahill's involvement was confirmed by the release of the documents on Thursday, as the warrant shows he signed it on February 1.

The teen was a suspect in the January killing of 38-year-old Otis Elder, who was found by Saint Paul police and emergency medical personnel with a gunshot wound and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Amir Locke Police Shooting Minneapolis No-Knock Warrant
Newly released court records confirm that Amir Locke was not named in the no-knock warrant that led to his death. The warrant was requested by police because of the alleged "violent" history of the suspect, not Locke. Above, students rally outside the governor's residence as they stage a walkout to protest Locke's killing last week in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

A Minneapolis SWAT team was assisting the Saint Paul Police Department in its investigation of Elder's murder, and the Minneapolis officers reportedly insisted on the search warrant being changed to a no-knock warrant.

"A no-knock warrant enables officers to execute the warrant more safely by allowing officers to make entry into the apartment without alerting the suspects inside," the request states. "This will not only increase officer safety, but it will also decrease the risk for injuries to the suspects and other residents nearby."

Following initial reporting that a no-knock warrant was used in the raid that led to Locke's death and that officers did not identify themselves until they were already inside the apartment, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a moratorium on use of the warrants last week.

Hundreds of students in Minneapolis and Saint Paul walked out of classes earlier this week, with dozens marching to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's house and standing outside with signs demanding justice for Locke.

Police believed that no-knock raids between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. would reduce the possibility that evidence they were searching for would be destroyed before they could enter the three locations listed in the warrant, the request states.

In addition to the suspects listed in the warrant, police were searching for forensic evidence like blood and other DNA, firearms, cellphones, drugs and the keys to a Mercedes that was allegedly seen in surveillance footage leaving the scene of Elder's killing.

Newsweek reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department for comment on the warrant.

Update 2/10/22, 2:53 p.m. ET: This story was updated with additional context from the newly released documents.