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No charges to be filed in shooting of Black man in Minneapolis

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A picture of Amir Locke in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis./AFP
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Apr 07, 2022 - 09:39 AM

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota authorities announced on Wednesday that no charges would be filed in the shooting death of a Black man by police executing a “no-knock” search warrant.

Amir Locke, 22, was shot dead on February 2 by Minneapolis police who were searching for a suspect in a murder investigation.

A video shows members of a police SWAT team entering the apartment shortly before 7:00 am while shouting “Police, search warrant!”

Locke, who was sleeping on a couch, starts to rise from beneath a blanket with a gun in his hand when police open fire.

Police entered the apartment using a controversial “no-knock” warrant. Locke was not a suspect in the murder case and was authorized to own a firearm.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said the authorities were declining to file any criminal charges against the officers involved.

“Amir Locke is a victim,” Ellison said in a statement. “He should be alive today, and his death is a tragedy.”

But the attorney general said police officers have the right to use deadly force to protect their life or the life of someone else.

“Under current law -– and as awful as the circumstances of this tragedy are -– there is not sufficient admissible evidence to support a criminal charge,” Ellison said.

The state attorney general said the case raises questions about whether the police should continue to use “no-knock” warrants, which have been banned in some jurisdictions.

“No-knock warrants are highly risky and pose significant dangers to both law enforcement and the public, including to individuals who are not involved in any criminal activity,” he said.

“Local, state, and federal policy makers should seriously weigh the benefits of no-knock warrants, which are dangerous for both law enforcement and the public alike.” he said.

Locke’s death reopened wounds in Minneapolis that were caused by the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, by a white police officer.

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