With no no-knock warrant, Locke can be alive : NPR

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Amir Locke’s father Andre Locke speaks throughout his funeral Thursday at Shiloh Temple Worldwide Ministries in Minneapolis. Locke was killed Feb. 2 by Minneapolis police as they executed a no-knock search warrant.

Nicole Neri/AP


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Nicole Neri/AP


Amir Locke’s father Andre Locke speaks throughout his funeral Thursday at Shiloh Temple Worldwide Ministries in Minneapolis. Locke was killed Feb. 2 by Minneapolis police as they executed a no-knock search warrant.

Nicole Neri/AP

MINNEAPOLIS — The Rev. Al Sharpton informed the a whole lot gathered Thursday for Amir Locke’s funeral that the 22-year-old Black man would nonetheless be alive if Minneapolis had banned no-knock warrants.

Sharpton was amongst a number of audio system who paid tribute to Locke and different Black individuals who have died in encounters with police. Together with tune and prayer, the service at Shiloh Temple Worldwide Ministries included robust condemnations of racism in policing and emphatic calls for for change.

“Amir was not responsible of something however being younger and Black in America,” Sharpton stated. He stated if Minneapolis had banned no-knock warrants “we would not be at a funeral this morning.”

Sharpton additionally famous that February is Black Historical past Month and he spoke in regards to the historical past of slavery, detailing how slaves had their names taken away from them and had been compelled to take the names of their masters. He stated Black folks for too lengthy have been seen as “anonymous suspects.”

“Sufficient is sufficient. We’re not going to be your anonymous suspects,” Sharpton stated, as the gang applauded.

Earlier within the service, funeral-goers had been prompted to “Say his identify.” They responded: “Amir Locke.”

Locke’s aunt, Linda Tyler, denounced racism in policing and demanded that officers cease speaking in regards to the want for extra coaching, and as an alternative begin utilizing de-escalation strategies on white and Black folks alike.

“Whether it is one thing you merely can’t do, we simply ask that you just resign as we speak as an alternative of resigning one other brother or sister to her grave,” she stated. She additionally stated she would not wish to hear about how policing is a troublesome job.

“For those who suppose being a police officer is a troublesome occupation, attempt to be a Black man,” she stated, as the gang cheered.

Amir Locke’s mom Karen Wells, heart, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, left, arrive on the funeral for Locke at Shiloh Temple Worldwide Ministries, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minn. Locke was killed Feb. 2 by Minneapolis police as they executed a no-knock search warrant.

Nicole Neri/AP


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Nicole Neri/AP


Amir Locke’s mom Karen Wells, heart, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, left, arrive on the funeral for Locke at Shiloh Temple Worldwide Ministries, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minn. Locke was killed Feb. 2 by Minneapolis police as they executed a no-knock search warrant.

Nicole Neri/AP

A big portrait of Locke was displayed on the entrance of the church, with a white casket topped with roses and bouquets of flowers close by. Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter had been amongst these in attendance.

Locke’s loss of life has prompted an outcry towards no-knock warrants, with a push by his household and others to ban them in Minnesota and past.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who has come underneath scrutiny for town’s use of such warrants, and Minneapolis Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman didn’t attend. Shiloh Temple Bishop Richard Howell Jr. informed the Star Tribune earlier than the service that Frey wouldn’t attend with out an invite from the household.

Because the service started, a whole lot of individuals sang the hymn “Elevate Each Voice and Sing” earlier than Howell led the church in prayer. Members of the Grammy Award-winning group Sounds of Blackness additionally carried out. They later sang their tune, “Black Lives Matter.”

Funeral was in identical church as Daunte Wright service

The service was held in the identical church the place Daunte Wright was remembered after he was killed by a suburban Minneapolis police officer in April. Sharpton, whereas presiding over Wright’s funeral, decried “the stench of police brutality.”

Locke was shot by a SWAT crew member shortly earlier than 7 a.m. on Feb. 2 as officers served a no-knock search warrant in a St. Paul murder case. Physique digicam video exhibits no less than 4 officers utilizing a key to quietly enter the downtown house the place he was staying, then shouting their presence. The video exhibits Locke, wrapped in a comforter, stirring and holding a handgun proper earlier than an officer shot him.

Locke wasn’t named within the warrant and didn’t reside on the house. Relations known as his killing an “execution,” noting the video exhibits an officer kicking the couch, and advised Locke was startled awake and disoriented. They’ve additionally pushed again towards police saying Locke was shot after he pointed his gun at officers.

Frey has imposed a moratorium on such warrants whereas town reexamines its coverage. The state Bureau of Felony Apprehension is investigating Locke’s capturing.

Legislative committee hears arguments over no-knock warrants

Whereas the funeral was occurring, the Home Public Security Committee heard laws that will considerably restrict the usage of no-knock warrants.

The invoice, authored by Rep. Athena Hollins of St. Paul, solely permits such warrants in a handful of exigent circumstances, corresponding to kidnapping and human trafficking. It goes additional than measures handed final yr, which made it tougher for officers to hunt no-knock warrants.

Final yr’s laws requires that purposes for no-knock warrants be accredited by a chief regulation enforcement officer and one other supervisor. It additionally requires officers to say whether or not the warrant will be executed in daytime hours and clarify why officers cannot detain a suspect or search a residence by different means.

A number of activists who testified in help of the brand new invoice urged lawmakers to move it, calling final yr’s laws a “watered down” model of what the state wants. When requested if they’ve spoken with Senate Republicans, they shook their heads “no.”

“They patted themselves on the again and claimed that that they had handed some police accountability payments,” civil rights lawyer Nekima Levy Armstrong stated. “It is actually laughable, it is an insult to our intelligence and now one other Black household has misplaced their son, their nephew, their cousin, our group member by the nonsensical use of a no-knock warrant.”

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