Amir Locke’s cousin arrested in investigation that led to police killing

Following the police killing of Locke, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants

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Amir Locke’s 17-year-old cousin was arrested Monday in connection to a homicide investigation that led to the police killing of Locke last week. 

The unnamed teenager has been charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 10 fatal shooting of 38-year-old Otis Rodney Elder, USA Today reports. It was this case that led Minneapolis police to execute the no-knock search warrant on Locke’s apartment on the night he was fatally shot by the officers. 

According to the Associated Press, body camera footage of the incident showed an officer entering Locke’s unit using a key, “followed by at least four officers in uniform and protective vests who repeatedly yelled “Police, search warrant!” “Hands!” and “Get on the ground!”

The video shows an officer kick a sectional sofa, and Locke begins to emerge from under a blanket, holding a pistol. Three shots are heard, and the video ends,” per AP. “The city also released a still from the video showing Locke holding the gun, his trigger finger laid aside the barrel. The top of Locke’s head is barely visible.”

After the 22-year-old was shot by SWAT team officers, authorities later revealed the warrant didn’t initially permit a no-knock entrance.

(Credit: YouTube screenshot)

“St. Paul police originally did not request a no-knock warrant from a judge, but when Minneapolis police were asked to execute the warrant, MPD insisted the warrant be changed to authorize it be executed without first knocking,” per KARE 11 investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe.

Locke’s cousin reportedly lived in the Bolero Flats apartment building in Minneapolis with his mother. The teenager’s associate lived in a unit two doors down and the girlfriend of the teen’s brother lived seven floors down, according to USA Today.  Locke had been sleeping in the last apartment, which was the only one with a no-knock warrant.

Police obtained a search warrant for the three units after tracking the teenage suspect and his associates to the location. 

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Locke’s parents, confirmed in a statement that “all available information confirms that Amir was never a target of that investigation or those search warrants.”

Locke’s cousin is currently being held in Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center. The state wants to prosecute him as an adult because “retaining the proceeding in juvenile court does not serve public safety.”

Following Locke’s killing, Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants.

Meanwhile, the Biden White House is looking to extend the federal ban on no-knock warrant restrictions on federal agents amid outcry over the shooting death of Locke, theGrio reported

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the potential policy change during Monday’s press briefing when asked by theGrio about the most recent police-involved fatal shooting.

There has been national outrage over the execution of no-knock warrants, particularly after the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville in 2020, which spotlighted the issues of their disproportionate use with people of color.

This report contains additional reporting from White House Correspondent April Ryan.

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