Family, activists call for officer who shot Amir Locke to be quickly fired, prosecuted

(KSTP) – Family and activists spoke out Friday afternoon in response to the release of Minneapolis police body camera video of the death of Amir Locke, demanding increased transparency and new leadership in the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Communities United Against Police Brutality group is gathered alongside Locke’s parents and other family members at Minneapolis City Hall.

Locke, 22, was shot Wednesday morning while a search warrant was being served in connection with a St. Paul homicide case.

Police stated Thursday that Locke wasn’t named in the search warrant.

Police said Locke pointed a loaded gun “in the direction of officers.”

The officer who shot Locke was identified as Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman.

Minnesota-based attorney Jeff Storms, one of the lawyers representing Locke’s family, welcomed news that Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office is getting involved in the case, citing Ellison’s office’s track record of prosecuting officers.

Storms called Locke’s death a “wholly avoidable situation” and added, “Unless we stand up and demand real actual change and accountability, we’re all going to be back here again.”

Locke’s family members and activists called for Hanneman to be fired. Many activists also called for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to fire Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman after their press conference Thursday night.

“At the end of the day, I believe that (Amir) was executed by the MPD and I want the police officer that murdered my son to be prosecuted and fired,” Karen Wells, Locke’s mother, said.

Wells added, “My son didn’t deserve what happened to him.”

Other extended family members and close family friends also spoke Friday afternoon, passionately calling for accountability and transparency.

“How does that feel to know your son is sleeping comfortably, in a safe place, peacefully, and someone takes it upon themselves to choose who lives and who dies,” Locke’s father, Andre, asked the room.

“I just don’t want to see it happen to no one else,” Andre Locke added.

Nekima Levy Armstrong, a longtime community activist, called for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to immediately fire Hanneman and Huffman. Ward 6 Council Member Jamal Osman also spoke briefly, calling for Hanneman to be fired. And, Minnesota Rep. John Thompson (DFL-St. Paul) spoke during the press conference, angrily blaming politicians and the media for demonizing Black Minnesotans.