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Officer serving no-knock warrant kills legal firearm owner Amir Locke


Euler
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AP News

AP News said:

A Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a man Wednesday who authorities say had a loaded gun in his hand as officers entered a downtown apartment as part of a homicide investigation.

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[Interim police Chief Amelia] Huffman said the officers used a key fob to gain entry to the apartment.... Nine seconds after going inside, officers encountered a man with a handgun. A police statement said the gun was "pointed in the direction of officers."

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Authorities did not say whether the officers were serving a no-knock warrant.

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The police statement did not identify the type of warrant, but said the officers "repeatedly announced their presence" after they entered and "advanced with continued loud announcements of their presence."

 

John Baker, a former defense attorney who teaches aspiring police officers at St. Cloud State University, said it sounded to him like it was a no-knock warrant.

 

"If they used a key fob, where did they get that key fob as opposed to a knock and announce?" he said. "You have to knock and let somebody answer."

 

Baker also wondered whether authorities had tried to serve a warrant previously before deciding to use a SWAT team, saying that much force is not normally the first approach.

 

"It's strange to use SWAT, unless they had intel that this guy was armed and very dangerous," he said.

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AP News

AP News said:

The Minneapolis mayor imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants Friday, two days after a SWAT team entered a downtown apartment and killed Amir Locke, a Black man who his parents said was "executed" after he was startled from a deep sleep and reached for a legal firearm to protect himself.

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Locke's parents, Andre Locke and Karen Wells, described him Friday as respectful, including to police, and said some of their relatives work in law enforcement. Wells said the couple coached their son on how to act and do "what they needed to do whenever they encountered police officers" because of the danger to "unarmed Black males."

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The city also released a still from the video showing Locke holding the gun, his trigger finger along the side of the barrel. Otherwise, all that can be seen of Locke is the top of his head.

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Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman said during a news conference Thursday that Locke wasn't named in the warrants. She said it wasn't clear how or whether Locke was connected to St. Paul's homicide investigation. A spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department said he could not comment because the homicide investigation was ongoing.

 

The search warrants that led the SWAT team to enter the apartment were filed under seal and will not be made public immediately.

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Primary and Secondary had a great mod cast about this type thing a few weeks ago. The big points were hardly anybody is trying to rescue evidence anymore unless it's child porn.

 

If this was drugs these guys won't have many people in their corner. 

 

I'll try to find the mod cast link. It was good. Two cops on there had roughly the same shooting but years apart. One was cleared and the other had his career ended. 

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SAINT PAUL, MN (February 4, 2022) –  While many facts remain unknown at this time, information indicates that Amir Locke was a law-abiding citizen who was lawfully in possession of a firearm when he was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police on the morning of February 2nd.

 

https://gunowners.mn/press-release-minnesota-gun-owners-caucus-responds-to-the-death-of-amir-locke/

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On 2/4/2022 at 10:26 PM, Yettiblood said:

I’d be willing to bet cash money that the dude that got ventilated isn’t the good little boy that the media has instantly portrayed him as. 

 

How is that relevant?

 

Lets take George Floyd for example, he was living a life that would have ended the way it did, poorly. That doesn't absolve Chauvin of his actions.

 

 

No knocks need to end. There is absolutely no reason to have them. All it does is put officers and the public in danger.

Simply bad tactics, bad leadership, bad policy, bad laws. If the cops had good tactics this would have never happened. If the leadership would have trained them properly this would have never happened. If policies didn't allow these type of warrants this wouldn't happen. If we still enforcement the 4th amendment the other laws that support this behavior would be deemed unconstitutional and this wouldn't have happened.

Edited by starwatcher
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On 2/5/2022 at 11:34 AM, starwatcher said:

 

How is that relevant?

 

Lets take George Floyd for example, he was living a life that would have ended the way it did, poorly. That doesn't absolve Chauvin of his actions.

 

IN MY OPINION

No knocks need to end. There is absolutely no reason to have them. All it does is put officers and the public in danger.

Simply bad tactics, bad leadership, bad policy, bad laws. If the cops had good tactics this would have never happened. If the leadership would have trained them properly this would have never happened. If policies didn't allow these type of warrants this wouldn't happen. If we still enforcement the 4th amendment the other laws that support this behavior would be deemed unconstitutional and this wouldn't have happened.

FIFY  

 

Strongly held opinions may or may not be valid but they are not facts.

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In my opinion they directly clash with castle doctrine. In my opinion the officer involved shooting was justified, but every event that lead up to it is a failure of our society at all levels from the shooter to the SCOTUS.

 

I like newsnations take on a few things;

 

https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/what-is-a-no-knock-warrant/

 

Quote

What is a no-knock warrant and why do police use them?

Katie Smith

Posted: Feb 4, 2022 / 04:02 PM CST | Updated: Feb 5, 2022 / 11:35 AM CST
AP22035079679957.jpg?w=1024&h=683&crop=1

In this image taken from Minneapolis Police Department body camera video and released by the city of Minneapolis, 22-year-old Amir Locke 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. Authorities have not said if Locke was connected to the homicide investigation or named in the warrant. (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)

 

(NewsNation Now) — The shooting death of a 22-year-old man on Wednesday has reignited the national debate over law enforcement’s use of so-called no-knock warrants.

Amir Locke was lying on a couch wrapped in a blanket Wednesday when a SWAT team stormed through the door in what would be the final moments of the man’s life.

Locke, who was Black, wasn’t named on the warrant that officers were executing. In the days since his death, however, the Minneapolis Police Department has pointed to a still from one officer’s body camera, which shows a gun in Locke’s hand just before officer Mark Hanneman fired his weapon.

No-knock warrants and raids came under public scrutiny in the wake of the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical technician studying to become a nurse. Taylor was shot multiple times in March 2020 after being roused from sleep by police. No drugs were found, and the warrant was later found to be flawed.

Some argue that no-knock warrants too often lead to injury or death. But proponents of the measure have defended no-knock warrants as a tool to keep their communities safe.

What is a no-knock warrant and who uses them?

The term refers to a search warrant that allows police officers to enter a premises without first knocking and announcing themselves.

As of 2020, most states allowed no-knock warrants in some form, excluding Oregon, which bars them for any reason. Florida prohibits no-knock warrants but makes exceptions when an occupant doesn’t respond or reply to a standard knock warrant, according to the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ).

Utah also bans no-knock warrants specifically when they are based only on the suspicion of drug possession, according to a Jan. 2021, CCJ report.

But sentiments around no-knock warrants seem to be shifting on a larger scale.

Vice President Kamala Harris co-sponsored legislation in June 2020 aimed at banning police from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants. The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is on the Senate calendar as of February 2022.

As of January 2021, state bills and local ordinances banning or restricting no-knock warrants were
introduced
in 22 states and 20 cities, according to the CCJ.

Minneapolis updated its policy in Nov. 2020 to require that officers announce their presence as they enter a premises, as well as to make periodic announcements while inside.

Why do some police departments use them?

No-knock warrants are typically issued in situations where police announcing their presence before entry could lead to the destruction of evidence or further put a person’s safety at risk, according to Cornell Law School.

They also tend to be reserved for situations that present imminent threat, retired New York police officer Jillian Snider said.

Snider works as an instructor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and told NewsNation that police don’t execute no-knock warrants “on a regular basis by any means.”

“Judges will not sign off on them unless there’s a serious threat to public safety,” Snider said. “So in this case, I do know that the warrant was executed because of a murder investigation, which would be something that a no-knock warrant would be signed off upon.”

Former Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson emphasized the generally high-stakes nature of no-knock warrant executions, noting that they’re often used in cases involving “very violent offenders.”

“Anytime you’re asking for no-knock, it’s a dangerous and tenuous situation,” Johnson said.

That’s why it’s important that officers conduct a full investigation to determine who’s at the property before executing a warrant, Snider said.

The Minneapolis Police Department on Friday declined to say what steps if any officers took to be sure that the person sought in Wednesday’s warrant was home at the time. The department cited an ongoing investigation that is being conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

What do we know about the shooting that killed Locke?

The situation is still under investigation, and police as of Friday hadn’t released copies of the warrant they were serving when they encountered Locke.

According to Johnson, “You don’t have to wait for somebody to point a weapon at you and fire it before you try to defend yourself.”

Johnson added that he is more familiar with Illinois’ laws than Minnesota’s.

But Locke’s family has said the man was a licensed gun owner with a concealed carry permit. Some gun rights activists additionally argued that Locke was reaching for “legal means of defense” as he tried to get his bearings.

On Friday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he asked the state’s Attorney General Keith Ellison to review events surrounding the shooting.

The underlying homicide that the warrant was issued in connection with is being investigated by the St. Paul Police Department. Few details about that case have been released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Edited by starwatcher
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Has there ever been someone shot during the course of an arrest warrant that wasn't in a "Deep Sleep" and/or startled?

I'm only saying this as there almost seems to be a structured statement/answer as to the victims responses to doing what they did!

 

Maybe if these arrest warrants were forced to be lights blaring and sirens whaling horns blowing and loud speakers used then this wouldn't happen. Let them know youre coming and be done with it. Then the arrestee can make an informed decision about how to respond and carry themselves. It's almost a certainty that the person/persons being looked for do NOT want to be arrested. But then I've never been in those shoes.

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Why have a no knock raid?

 

An announced police visit (because that what it becomes) gives the person holding the drugs time to flush them, or a wanted subject time to prepare for resistance, including arming themself in a deadly manner.

 

The raids we read about have gone tragically wrong. But that does not mean that, more generally, they are not a valid LE tool when properly conducted.

 

Rich Phillips

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Right here in my little town of about 15,000 the police knocked down the door at the wrong address with a no knock warrant. The guy had to fight like all heck to get them to pay for the damage. 

 

They wanted him to get it fixed and then they would look at the bill and decide how much they should pay.  🤬

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https://minnesotareformer.com/2022/02/04/2-swat-team-members-involved-in-jaleel-stallings-case-were-part-of-locke-raid/

 

In my opinion. The defensive shooting at police by Jaleel Stallings is deserving of an entire other thread, but the connection between the two is interesting. Bad tactics.

Edited by starwatcher
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On 2/5/2022 at 3:58 PM, Smallbore said:

No knock warrants are travesty of justice. Something expected only in a police state.

There maybe some room in there for life in jeopardy but you either got enough evidence to convict or they can't get that much down the toilet. 

Edited by SiliconSorcerer
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I absolutely 100% oppose no-knock warrants. 

 

In addition this video is evidence that night-locks are a really good idea for everyone. 

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I’ve seen those on Amazon.  I wouldn’t mind getting a couple for our house.  Our back door especially if people wanted to break in my house, the back door has a dead bolt but the top of the door is mostly glass.  If I had something like the night lock there, even if someone broke glass and tried to open the door they’d have to make more noise kicking the door in which would drive my yorkie crazy.  The little guy is only 7-8 pounds but he’s good little watch dog and is good about letting me know if people are around.

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IMO "no knock" warrants are a bad idea that should be reserved for extremely rare circumstances.  Arrive in force and announce.  If the suspect is violent, take the precautions to protect the officers involved.  But waking someone up by breaking into their house is a bad idea.  I have no idea if the person killed was a thug or an honor student.  (I have a guess, since they're involved ina murder investigation.)  But either way, it was bad tactics that contributed to the end result.

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On 2/8/2022 at 2:13 PM, ragsbo said:

I do NOT agree with doing away with "no knock warrants". They have their use. I do think they are being used way to much when not called for. There should be a detailed list of things that must be met to be authorized. DO NOT take this tool away from the cops. Make it hard to get and make the cops prove it is needed.

Do you stop them until you have this new detailed list? 

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This just popped up in my news feed: Teen charged in homicide that prompted no-knock warrant, Locke's death - StarTribune.com, published today @ 4:10pm

 

Quote

Along with prosecutors detailing their case in Elder's death, they also spelled out in the charging document some of the circumstances of the raid that ended with Locke being killed:

 

In the seventh-floor apartment where Locke was shot were Speed's brother and the brother's girlfriend. Officers seized clothing that police believe Speed was wearing at some point on the night Elder was shot, the gun belonging to Locke and marijuana.

 

In the search of a second apartment, this one on the 14th floor and where Speed lived with his mother, officers seized a hat that police suspect Speed was wearing when he shot Elder and other items associated with two people believed to be with Speed soon after the Jan. 10 shooting.

 

The search of the third apartment, also on the 14th floor and associated with a friend of Speed's, turned up "a large amount of marijuana."

 

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Primary and Secondary is doing a mod cast tonight on no knocks, exigent circumstances, etc. Retired swat guy from MSP is saying this was his old team and it was knock and announce. The warrant was written as no knock to allow flexibility. No knocks are not done by the MSP swat. 

 

I'll post the link when this is available. Good discussion. 

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