Home National Body camera video shows Minneapolis officers shooting Black man during no-knock warrant....

Body camera video shows Minneapolis officers shooting Black man during no-knock warrant. Attorneys say he wasn’t the target

Police body camera footage shows officers entering the home moments before encountering Amir Locke, who was shot and killed. City of Minneapolis

(CNN) — In the early morning hours Wednesday, Minneapolis police officers gently placed a key in a city apartment door before bursting through the doorway yelling “Police! Search warrant!,” according to body camera footage released by city officials Thursday night.

In the seconds that followed, a Black man apparently asleep and shown to be holding a gun upon awakening was shot and killed. Police say he was not named in any search warrants before the entry, and attorneys for the man’s family say he was in legal possession of his firearm.

The shooting brings further scrutiny to the use of no-knock warrants and shines a spotlight on a police department that has faced criticism before.

In May 2020, Minneapolis Police Department officers were involved in the killing of George Floyd before later being fired and charged in his death. The subsequent national outrage over the killings of Floyd and Breonna Taylor — who was shot by police in Kentucky as they performed a no-knock warrant entry — led to sustained protests and calls for policing reform.

That summer, Minneapolis announced a new policy on no-knock entries, aimed at limiting the “likelihood of bad outcomes.” Officials said that officers would be required to announce their presence and purpose before entering, except in certain circumstances like hostage situations.

Family attorneys and the city have identified the man who was shot and later died as Amir Locke. He was not named in the original search warrant, police said.

Jeff Storms, one of the Locke family attorneys, echoed those findings to CNN.

“To the best of my knowledge, he was not named in any of the search warrants,” he said. “He was not even a target.”

Storms added, “The City of Minneapolis told the public that it was limiting the use of no-knock warrants to ‘limit the likelihood of bad outcomes.’ Less than two years later, Amir Locke and his family needlessly suffered the worst possible outcome. Our City has to do better.”

Minneapolis officers were executing the warrant tied to a homicide investigation in nearby St. Paul, according to Minneapolis police.

“At this point, it’s unclear if or how he (Locke) is connected to St. Paul’s investigation,” said Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman during a press conference late Thursday.

“These events unfold in seconds but the trauma is long-lasting. A young man lost his life, and his friends and family are in mourning,” said Huffman, describing it as a sobering moment.

Body camera video shows shooting

After police entered the apartment, officers quickly identified a man inside, body camera footage shows.

“Hands! Hands! Hands!” one officer yells while others yell “Get on the fu**ing ground!” as they make their way toward the back of a couch where a man is seen wrapped in blankets at 6:48 a.m., according to the footage. One officer kicks the back of the couch, appearing to wake up the man, who looks up to see the officers all around him.

He begins to try and stand up, still wrapped in blankets, and is seen holding a gun. Three gunshots are then heard from officers.

A screenshot provided by the police department from the body camera video shows the weapon more clearly.

“The involved officer was just outside the frame in the direction the barrel is emerging from the blanket,” said Huffman.

Based on the short video and image provided, CNN is not able to independently confirm where the gun was pointing, but has requested body camera video from the other responding officers.

The video was released at multiple speeds — one version in real time, the other two edited by the city to be slowed down. In total, 14 seconds elapse in real time.

“As they got close, you can see, along with an individual emerging from under the blanket, the barrel of a gun, which comes out from the blanket,” said Huffman. “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 initial release from authorities said “officers encountered a male who was armed with a handgun pointed in the direction of officers.”

Officer Mark Hanneman, as identified by the City of Minneapolis, then shot at and hit Locke. The police department says aid was immediately provided as the officers carried him down to the lobby to meet paramedics.

Locke was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center where he died, according to the police.

Hanneman has been placed on administrative leave, as is policy, pending the ongoing investigation, a spokesperson for the City of Minneapolis said. CNN has attempted to reach Hanneman and has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Federation for comment but has not gotten a response.

“The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was notified immediately and is heading up the criminal investigation,” Huffman said Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department confirmed to CNN the homicide investigation that was the source of the original warrant is still active.

A gun was also recovered from the apartment, police said.

Benjamin Crump, another of the Locke family attorneys, said in a statement, “Locke, who has several family members in law enforcement and no past criminal history, legally possessed a firearm at the time of his death.

“Like the case of Breonna Taylor, the tragic killing of Amir Locke shows a pattern of no-knock warrants having deadly consequences for Black Americans,” Crump said.

Taylor, a 26-year-old ER medical technician, was shot and killed by Louisville officers in her home during a botched police raid in March 2020.

A grand jury failed to indict any officers in her death. One officer, Brett Hankison, was indicted for blindly firing into a neighbor’s apartment during the shooting. He has pleaded not guilty and trial proceedings are ongoing.

A virtual press conference with the Locke family and their attorneys is planned for Friday morning.


™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.