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Protest caravan drives through Minneapolis, demanding justice for Black man killed by police

A protester holds a sign demanding justice for Amir Locke at a rally on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Photo by AP)

A caravan of vehicles drove through the US city of Minneapolis demanding justice Amir Locke, an African-American man who was fatally shot by police in a downtown apartment.

The protest caravan involving some 50 vehicles was organized by the Racial Justice Network and other police accountability groups on Sunday.

The protesters then gathered in a neighborhood outside the residence of interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman, and demanded justice for Locke and Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed by Kentucky police under a similar circumstance. 

Amir Locke, 22, was shot Wednesday by officers carrying out a so-called no-knock search warrant on the apartment in Minneapolis.

A police bodycam video  shows an officer using a key to unlock the door and then a SWAT team entering the apartment while shouting, "Police, search warrant!" They open fire as soon as Locke, sleeping on a couch, starts to rise from beneath a blanket, with a gun in his hand.

The total time between the officers' entrance and the shots fired was less than ten seconds. Locke died from his wounds in hospital. An incident report said he had two wounds in the chest and one in the right wrist.

Minneapolis is still reeling from the high-profile killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man whose death at the hand of a white officer in 2020 sparked nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

 The caravan protesters called for Huffman to resign.

“We’re asking for her job,” said activist Toussaint Morrison over a microphone outside the home, “because it seems like the only time they pay attention is when it affects their jobs or their money. But we pull up when it affects our lives.”

The gathering follows a march Saturday that drew hundreds of demonstrators to the streets of Minneapolis.

Locke’s parents, Andre Locke and Karen Wells, say their son was “executed” after he was startled from a deep sleep when police stormed the apartment he was in and reached for a legal firearm to protect himself.

They said Locke was a law-abiding citizen who was respectful to all, including the police and had legal authorization to carry a gun.

Two days after Locke’s death, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants.


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