Thousands gather in Minneapolis to protest fatal police shooting

By Calley Hair

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Thousands gathered in freezing downtown Minneapolis Saturday to protest against the killing of Amir Locke, the 22-year-old Black man shot by police earlier this week.

Locke's death exacerbated existing wounds in the city, where George Floyd was murdered by a police officer less than two years ago.


"I don't know what today will bring," one protestor, Jeanelle Austin, told the New York Times during a demonstration that remained peaceful. "But we need something different. We can't keep continuing with more of the same. We're dying."

Protestors called on Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Interim Chief Amelia Huffman to resign, according to reports from WCCO Minnesota. They also called on city leadership to immediately fire and prosecute Minneapolis Police Officer Mark Hanneman, who fatally shot Locke during an early morning SWAT raid on an apartment complex while carrying out a no-knock search warrant.

Locke was not named on the warrant, nor was he a resident of the apartment. He was sleeping on the couch when police arrived.

A graphic body camera video released by the MPD Thursday shows police quietly unlocking the door of the apartment. They enter and yell "Police! Search warrant!" One officer kicked the back of the couch where Locke was under a blanket, which jostled Locke and revealed a gun.


Police shot at least three times in response. Locke died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

said Friday that he and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison are reviewing the video footage and that criminal charges against the involved officers are possible.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is among the people taking Frey to task for campaigning on the promise to end no-knock raids.

"Once again we're left only with the empty words of police and the Mayor. Words that, at best, are meant to mislead the people of Minneapolis, and at worst are quite simply lies aimed at portraying Amir as a criminal," Omar wrote in a series of tweets on Friday.

"We are also more than a year into a Department of Justice investigation into the patterns and practices of the MPD after the murder of George Floyd. It's tragic that before that investigation is complete, we are facing another murder that would warrant its own."

Saturday's protest took place against the backdrop of an ongoing federal trial against the three former MPD officers who stood by as their superior officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. Chauvin was convicted of Floyd's murder in April.


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