Protesters in Minneapolis demand firing of interim police chief, officer who shot Amir Locke

Protesters demanding justice for Amir Locke on Friday.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa.)

Demonstrators in Minneapolis made their way to City Hall on Monday, where they called on Mayor Jacob Frey to fire the interim police chief and the officer who shot and killed Amir Locke last week during a raid.

Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, was shot on Wednesday morning while police officers carried out a no-knock warrant at a Minneapolis apartment. Locke, who was not listed on the warrant, was on a couch in the living room when officers entered. He is seen on body cam footage wrapped up in a blanket, and there is a gun in his hand. Officer Mark Hanneman fired three shots, hitting Locke.

Locke was a DoorDash driver, and his family said he legally purchased a gun for protection, due to an increase in carjackings. "The Second Amendment is for Black people, too," Locke's cousin, Nneka Constantino, said on Monday. "Our family is not naive. So we understand that it was not necessarily a person but a system of injustice that has killed Amir Locke."

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Civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong said she was "honored" to stand in solidarity with the Locke family, but the "reality is that we should not have to be here. How many more Black lives have to be lost and needlessly taken by those who are supposed to protect and serve?"

Armstrong called for the immediate firing of Hanneman and either the firing or resignation of interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman, saying she has failed "miserably" at her job. In the wake of Locke's shooting, Huffman did not "speak truthfully or candidly" about what happened during the raid, Armstrong continued, and "even after the body camera footage was released, she continued to distort the truth." Locke was referred to as a suspect, which he was not, and there was a focus placed on his gun, which he owned legally, Armstrong said.

She also brought up appointments Huffman has made in the department, including promoting an officer who was previously fired to the role of training director. "We ask that Mayor Jacob Frey step up to the plate immediately," Armstrong said. "No more excuses, no more hiding behind policies that do not fully get implemented."

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