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'Amir Was All About Changing The World': Family, Attorney Ben Crump Condemn Shooting Death Of Amir Locke

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The family of 22-year-old Amir Locke, the Black man fatally shot by Minneapolis police Wednesday morning in a downtown apartment, spoke publicly for the first time Friday, condemning the search warrant which ultimately resulted in their son's death.

Locke's parents, Karen Wells and Andre Locke, joined civil rights attorney Ben Crump in a virtual press conference Friday morning, saying that Amir Locke was a "good kid."

"My son Amir was an entrepreneur," said Andre Locke. "He enjoyed learning and asking questions and he enjoyed wanting to be a part of the music industry."

Amir Locke was the third oldest of eight siblings, and wanted to help young people, his family said. He wanted to purchase land and had dreams of going into real estate.

"Amir was all about changing the world," his mother said. "Amir was loved by all, hated by none."

He had obtained a license to carry because he was a Doordash driver, and had gotten a gun in order to protect himself. One of his biggest mentors was his cousin, a law enforcement agent.

"At the end of the day, I believe that (Amir) was executed by the MPD and I want the police officer that murdered my son to be prosecuted and fired," Wells said.

Later, on CNN, Wells said that he's not against police officers, adding that his family only wants accountability.

Locke's family was able to view the body camera footage before it was released to the public on Thursday evening. The video shows the deadly encounter Wednesday morning between Locke and police inside a downtown apartment.

The footage, initially released on the city's YouTube page, is less than a minute long. Several officers can be heard yelling "police" and "search warrant" as they step through the doorway with guns drawn.

The officers approach a couch on which Locke is wrapped in a blanket. He sits up and turns toward the officers. He is holding a gun. An instant later, officer Mark Hanneman fires three shots, and Locke falls to the floor, fatally wounded.

"They didn't even give him a chance," said Crump. "He was a young man who had dreams, he was a good kid, he had no criminal history. He was a law-abiding citizen, he had a permit - a license to have a gun."

Crump thanked the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, who released a statement on Friday morning blasting the "tragic" and "completely avoidable" death of a law-abiding citizen who was lawfully in possession of a gun.

"Black men, like all citizens, have a right to keep and bear arms," said Chair Bryan Strawser.

The family said Amir Locke's death will not be "swept under the rug."

"But as his mother I will make sure that as long as I am on this side of this world, I am going to fight every day throughout the day, 365 days, to make sure that Amir Rahkare Locke gets justice for being executed by MPD," said Wells.

Crump represented the family of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police in 2020. Crump helped the Floyd family win a historic $27 million settlement with the city of Minneapolis.

Also on Friday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that his office will help the Hennepin County Attorney's Office with Amir Locke case. Ellison told Locke's family that he'll offer them a fair and thorough review, guided by accountability and transparency.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) issued a statement Friday, saying that Amir Locke's life mattered.

"Right now, there is an ongoing investigation, and once that investigation is complete, Attorney General Keith Ellison will assist the Hennepin County Attorney's Office in reviewing the facts of this tragic case," she said. "What we do know is that we need to reform the practice and proliferation of no-knock warrants, which has led to many unnecessary deaths, as has started to be done by the Department of Justice and the State of Minnesota."

She added: "As we go forward, we must ensure that our communities are safe, which includes making long overdue changes to our justice system as well addressing crime in our neighborhoods."

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