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Minneapolis officials say charges possible in police shooting of armed Black man

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Authorities in Minnesota said Friday that criminal charges are possible for Minneapolis police officers after they shot and killed a Black man while serving a no-knock search warrant related to a murder case.

Several officers served the warrant on Wednesday. Body camera footage shows the officers enter an apartment and shout at 22-year-old Amir Locke to show his hands as he lay on the couch. Moments later, Locke produced what looked like a handgun and was shot multiple times.

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Minneapolis Police Department officer Mark Hanneman is the one accused of shooting Locke.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday that he and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison are reviewing the shooting.

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"This follows the previous constructive partnerships in the successful prosecutions of Derek Chauvin and Kimberly Potter in recent police shooting cases," Freeman's office said, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Chauvin, who killed George Floyd in 2020, is serving a 22 1⁄2-year sentence and Potter is awaiting sentencing for the death of Daunte Wright last April in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey implemented a moratorium on the use of no-knock warrants in the city following the shooting. He said his office and the Minneapolis Police Department planned to work with experts to review and suggest revisions to the police force's policy on their use.

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"No matter what information comes to light, it won't change the fact that Amir Locke's life was cut short," Frey said. "To ensure safety of both the public and officers until a new policy is crafted, I'm issuing a moratorium on both the request and execution of such warrants in Minneapolis"

Minneapolis' interim police chief, Amelia Huffman, said that Locke was not named in the original search warrant, and said it's "unclear" if he was connected to the murder case the officers were investigating.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus has called for an independent investigation. Caucus Chairman Bryan Strawser said all citizens have the right to feel secure in their homes without unreasonable searches and seizures.

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