Authorities in Minnesota may prosecute a SWAT officer over Wednesday’s shooting death of 22-year-old Amir Locke, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced.
Freeman’s office will partner with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to review the incident, after which they will jointly determine, “based on the law and evidence, whether criminal charges should be brought,” Freeman said in a statement released early on Friday.
Locke was asleep at home when cops entered his apartment on a no-knock warrant. He was apparently asleep, but appeared to be holding a gun, when he was shot. Locke’s family said he had a permit for the firearm.
Officer Mark Hanneman was identified by the City of Minneapolis as the one who fired the fatal shot that killed Locke.
“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Locke’s family and loved ones during this difficult time,” Freeman’s statement said, adding that “no further comments will be forthcoming.”
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Daily Beast that Locke was not the intended target of the investigation being carried out by police when they executed the search warrant just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
Hanneman allegedly shot Locke three times, twice in the chest and once in the wrist. He has been placed on administrative leave.
“Like the case of Breonna Taylor, the tragic killing of Amir Locke shows a pattern of no-knock warrants having deadly consequences for Black Americans,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Locke family, said in a statement.