Family sues Minneapolis over Amir Locke killing by police in no-knock raid
The family of a 22-year-old Black man killed by police in a no-knock raid a year ago this week is suing the city of Minneapolis.
Officer Mark Hanneman fatally shot Amir Locke nine seconds after entering the downtown apartment where he was staying. Locke, who was not suspected of any crime, can be seen on body camera video stirring from under a blanket and holding a gun, but he doesn't fire.
Hanneman was part of a team of officers that announced their presence after opening the door to the apartment but did not knock before entering. They had a warrant to collect evidence for a St. Paul homicide investigation.
Hanneman was not charged in the killing. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and then-Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman cited a state statute giving officers wide discretion to use deadly force if there's a threat of death or great bodily harm given what the officer knew at the time.
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Locke’s killing drew attention to the dangers of no-knock warrants and led some lawmakers to propose a statewide ban. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey banned the practice.
On Friday, Locke family attorney Ben Crump announced the lawsuit in a Minneapolis press conference. No information was immediately available on what the family was seeking from the suit.
Locke’s family members on Thursday gathered inside the state Capitol to mark one year since he was killed.
Locke's father, Andre Locke, called on Ellison to reopen the criminal investigation into the police officers involved. "Barbarians, the way that they carry things out, so disrespectful and discerning of our son, they didn't give him a chance, he didn't have a chance,” he said.
Karen Wells, Amir Locke’s mother, said she believes her son was holding a gun because he was startled from sleep.
"No matter how tired I get, I ain't going nowhere, I am going to continue to fight for my son,” Wells said.
City spokesperson Casper Hill said Minneapolis officials had not seen the lawsuit as of around noon.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.