Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Teen Arrested In Murder Probe That Led To Fatal Amir Locke SWAT Raid

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Authorities arrested a 17-year-old in connection with the homicide investigation that led police to the Minneapolis apartment where a SWAT team officer fatally shot Amir Locke while conducting a search warrant, police said Tuesday.

The teen was arrested Monday afternoon in the southeastern Minnesota city of Winona, the St. Paul Police Department said Tuesday on Twitter. He was booked into the juvenile detention center on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 10 killing of Otis Elder and was expected to be charged Tuesday.

The death of Locke, who was Black, angered his family and activists, who questioned the initial police account of the shooting. Hundreds of people turned out for a rally Saturday in downtown Minneapolis and students in area high schools were planning a walkout Tuesday. It has also prompted an immediate reexamination of no-knock arrest warrants, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey last week announcing a moratorium while the city brings in outside experts to study its policy, and some state lawmakers plan to push for a statewide ban.

In this image taken from Minneapolis Police Department body camera video and released by the city of Minneapolis, 22-year-old Amir Locke is wrapped in a blanket on a couch holding a gun moments before he was fatally shot by Minneapolis police as they were executing a search warrant in a homicide investigation on Wednesday, Feb.  2, 2022, in Minneapolis.  (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)
In this image taken from Minneapolis Police Department body camera video and released by the city of Minneapolis, 22-year-old Amir Locke is wrapped in a blanket on a couch holding a gun moments before he was fatally shot by Minneapolis police as they were executing a search warrant in a homicide investigation on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)

St. Paul police had obtained search warrants as part of the investigation into Elder’s death, including a warrant for the downtown Minneapolis apartment where Locke had been staying. Minneapolis Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman has said her department had both warrants that would have required authorities to knock and not knock. Huffman has said that Locke was not named in the search warrants.

A Minneapolis SWAT team entered the unit without knocking on Feb. 2. Body camera video shows an officer using a key to unlock the door and enter, followed by at least four officers in uniform and protective vests, time-stamped at about 6:48 am As they enter, they repeatedly shout, “Police, search warrant!” They also shout “Hands!” and “Get on the ground!” The video shows an officer kick a sectional sofa, and Locke is seen wrapped in a blanket, holding a pistol. Three shots are heard, and the video ends.

In this image taken from Minneapolis Police Department body camera video and released by the city of Minneapolis, Minneapolis police enter an apartment on Wednesday, Feb.  2, 2022 moments before shooting 22-year-old Amir Locke.  (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)
In this image taken from Minneapolis Police Department body camera video and released by the city of Minneapolis, Minneapolis police enter an apartment on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 moments before shooting 22-year-old Amir Locke. (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)

The city also included a still from the video showing Locke holding the gun, his trigger finger along the side of the barrel.

Minneapolis police have said that Locke was shot after he pointed his gun in the direction of officers.

St. Paul police said the warrants that led to the search of the downtown Minneapolis apartment will likely be unsealed after charges are filed.

Elder, a 38-year-old father of two, was found shot and laying in the street on Jan. 10. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported at the time that paramedics gave him medical aid and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A motive for his killing was not immediately known.

Find AP’s full coverage of the death of Amir Locke at: https://apnews.com/hub/amir-locke

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