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Local ACLU demands Minneapolis fire officer who shot Amir Locke, release data on warrants

Amid continued calls for the firing of the Minneapolis officer who fatally shot Amir Locke during a no-knock raid, the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union announced an effort to force the city to release more information about the shooting.

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The chapter on Friday said it had filed a request for data on no-knock warrants carried out by the Minneapolis Police Department, communications about the city’s recent restrictions and policy changes on no-knock warrants, and copies of all body camera footage of Locke’s shooting.

“We question how someone who wasn’t a suspect or even a resident of the apartment – but simply sleeping on the couch – could wind up dead at police hands,” said Teresa Nelson, ACLU-MN legal director. “So far, the city’s attempts to release information have done nothing but cause more questions.”

The organization on Thursday also joined civil rights groups and Locke’s family in demanding the firing of Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman, who shot Locke during the homicide investigation in which Locke was not named.

The organization said Hanneman violated Minneapolis Police Department policies by “using more than objectively reasonable force.”

Nelson said in a Thursday statement she is concerned about the short timeframe of the shooting, about the officers’ failure to deescalate the situation and about the dangers no-knock warrants pose. Nelson also criticized the city for its lack of transparency.

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BLACK GUN OWNERSHIP:What the killing of Amir Locke says about anti-Blackness and gun ownership in America

NO-KNOCK WARRANTS:A growing legacy of controversy, revised laws, tragic deaths

Hanneman is on administrative leave while the Hennepin County attorney, the state’s Attorney General and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigate the shooting.

Family attorney Ben Crump has urged for the banning of no-knock warrants and has said Hanneman should be fired. On Thursday, Crump, citing a local media report, alleged Hanneman had a “history of violating people’s constitutional rights.” 

Facing pressure from several state lawmakers and activists, the city released footage earlier this month from one police-worn body camera. It showed officers using a key to enter an apartment before yelling commands, apparently startling Locke awake, who was on the couch and wrapped in a blanket. Locke can be seen holding a gun with his finger off the trigger.

Then, three gunshots from police can be heard. The confrontation lasted less than 10 seconds.

As protests demanding police accountability and the banning of no-knock warrants have continued for nearly two weeks in the Twin Cities, hundreds gathered Thursday to remember Locke at a funeral Thursday officiated by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Andre Locke talked about the toll his son’s death has had on the family, adding that he has had trouble eating.

“How do you eat something when you can barely breathe?” he said.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

‘HE LOVED ON EVERYONE’:Hundreds mourn, remember Amir Locke at Thursday funeral

VOICES:Amir Locke’s death proves we learned nothing from Breonna Taylor about no-knock warrants

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