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Funeral for Amir Locke, Black man shot by Minneapolis police, held at church in Minneapolis

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Ben Crump speaks at Amir Locke's funeral in Minneapolis 06:59

Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man who was shot by Minneapolis police serving a search warrant, was eulogized Thursday in the same church where Daunte Wright's funeral was held last April, CBS Minnesota reports.

Locke's funeral, held at Shiloh Temple International Ministries, was attended both by family and by major names in the civil rights movement like Al Sharpton and attorney Ben Crump. Family members of George Floyd and Botham Jean also attended.

When introducing Sharpton, Crump named others who had been killed by police, arguing that they would likely still be alive if they were White. Crump also mentioned the no-knock warrant that led police to the home on the night Locke was killed, saying if Minneapolis politicians had "followed through" on banning the warrants, "Amir would still be here."

In his own statement, Sharpton denounced what he called the Minneapolis Police Department's "insidious" attempt to slander Locke. 

"Amir was not guilty of anything but being young and black in America," Sharpton said. "We're not going nowhere til we turn this country around in the name of our children. Don't ever underestimate who we are."

Locke's death has intensified the outcry against no-knock warrants, with a push by his family and others to ban them in Minnesota and beyond. Both Sharpton and Crump said that Locke's death should pressure Minneapolis to ban the warrants.

Locke was shot by a SWAT team member earlier this month as officers served a search warrant in a St. Paul homicide case. Body camera video shows at least four officers using a key to quietly enter the downtown apartment where he was staying, then shouting their presence. The video shows Locke, wrapped in a comforter, stirring and holding a handgun right before an officer shot him.

Locke wasn't named in the warrant and did not live at the apartment. Family members called his killing an "execution," noting the video shows an officer kicking the sofa, and suggested Locke was startled awake and disoriented. They have also pushed back against police saying Locke was shot after he pointed his gun at officers.

Andre and Karen Locke, Locke's parents, described their son at his funeral as as a respectful, inquisitive older brother to eight siblings, who was "ordained" for something better and always cared for his family. Karen Locke called the police officers who shot her son "thugs." 

"The disrespect you did to my son, you're gonna learn who his mother is," Karen said. 

Andre tearfully thanked the crowd for attending the funeral. "I stand here today as a father that's torn. A father that's hurt," he said. "They didn't care about Amir. They knew they messed up."

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has imposed a moratorium on no-knock warrants while the city reexamines its policy. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Locke's shooting.

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