Civil lawsuit filed against City of Minneapolis in Amir Locke case

(KSTP) – A federal civil lawsuit has been filed against the City of Minneapolis for the shooting death of Amir Locke a year after officers carried out a no-knock warrant at a downtown Minneapolis apartment.

Friday morning, civil rights attorneys Ben Crump, Jeff Storms and Antonio Romanucci, joined by Locke’s parents, announced the lawsuit during a press conference.

This lawsuit announcement comes one day after multiple organizations held a vigil at the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda for the anniversary of Locke’s death.

“Amir was a bright light. Amir was a wonderful human being. He was everything to each of us. Most of all, he was our son. This entire family’s son, cousin, loved one,” said Andre Locke, Amir’s father.

Locke’s death led to changes within the Minneapolis Police Department, but his family and community members say there’s a lot that hasn’t changed.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Locke’s Fourth and 14th Amendment rights, as well as claims of unconstitutional policies and practices by police and a failure to properly train officers.

“This city has known for decades that its officers engage in excessive uses of force overwhelmingly against people of color,” Storms said.

“The police can deescalate just fine when they want to, just fine, but they don’t do it when it’s Black and brown people,” Crump added.

Locke was fatally shot in February 2022 by Minneapolis police officers executing a no-knock search warrant on the apartment he was in.

Amir was asleep on the couch when Minneapolis officers entered the residence. Officer Mark Hanneman shot Amir Locke as he emerged from under a blanket holding a gun that he legally owned, according to his family.

“If I did not use deadly force myself, I would likely be killed,” Hanneman told investigators when describing that moment on the body camera footage.

Procesutors declined to file charges.

As a result of the shooting, the Minneapolis police department no longer allows for the application or practice of no-knock search warrants, the city’s mayor Jacob Frey announced in April of last year.

No-knock warrants have come under scrutiny, most prominently in the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor during a botched drug raid.

ABC News contributed to this story.

Watch the full news conference below from our sister station KSTP.