Hundreds of people gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Saturday to demand justice for Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a police last week. Crowds held signs calling for the resignation of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and officer Mark Hanneman, who shot Locke, according to CBS Minnesota.
“This is not easy, to have to bury your son,” Locke’s father, Andre, told a crowd Saturday, according to video posted to Twitter.
He said Locke’s mother was “so overwhelmed with grief, disbelief, sorrow, everything that you could imagine that a mother feels when she loses her baby.”
Protesters also called for Hanneman to be prosecuted.
At around 6:48 a.m. Wednesday morning, a SWAT team executed a homicide-suspect search warrant as part of an investigation into a violent crime, authorities said.
Video of the raid showed Locke wrapped in a blanket on a couch when officers entered the apartment. The officers shouted at him to show his hands and get on the ground. Locke then sits up with a gun before being shot.
The Minneapolis Police Department said Locke, a legal gun owner, had pointed a loaded gun in the officers’ direction at about nine seconds into the encounter. Three shots are heard before the video ends.
An incident report said Locke suffered two wounds in the chest and one in the right wrist. He was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center where he died. Public information documents named Hanneman as the officer who fatally shot Locke.
“No officer goes into a dangerous setting like this wanting to use a weapon,” the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said in a statement Saturday. “That decision was not taken lightly, and the impact of the use of deadly force will affect these officers, their families, and the family of Mr. Locke for the rest of their lives.”
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said the police’s practices are “unforgivable,” and called for the immediate termination of Hanneman.
“A life was taken, which demands transparency, but perhaps more importantly, accountability,” the association said Saturday.
Following the fatal encounter, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey imposed an immediate moratorium on the request and execution of no-knock warrants in the city. The moratorium makes an exception for instances where there is “an imminent threat of harm to an individual or the public,” Frey’s office stated Friday.
U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, who represents Minneapolis, called Locke’s death a murder, and criticized local police and officials for their handling of what happened.
“Amir Locke had barely opened his eyes when he was executed by a Minneapolis police officer,” Omar tweeted Friday, blaming his death on the “violent, unchecked, and unreformed behavior of our city’s police.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison vowed to “conduct a fair and thorough review” of Locke’s case with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. Omar called Ellison “one of the few voices this city can trust in the wake of this kind of violence.” The attorney general recently led the prosecutions of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd and Kim Potter in the killing of Daunte Wright.
“Amir Locke’s life mattered,” Ellison said in a statement Friday. “He was only 22 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. His family and friends must now live the rest of their lives without him.”