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Amir Locke's Mother 'Disgusted' No Charges Will Be Filed Against Officer Who Killed Her Son

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Amir Locke's mother said she is "disgusted" following the announcement from state prosecutors that they will not file charges against the officer who shot and killed him while executing a no-knock search warrant in Minneapolis two months ago.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Attorney General Keith Ellison cited "insufficient admissible evidence" to file criminal charges and said that the state "would be unable to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of Minnesota's use-of-deadly-force statute that authorizes the use of force by Officer Hanneman."

Locke was killed within nine seconds after police entered unannounced into a Bolero Flats apartment in February; he was not named on the search warrant and was a lawful gun owner.

"I am not disappointed. I am disgusted with the city of Minneapolis," said Karen Wells, Locke's mother, who heard the news while at a civil rights conference in New York. "You may have been found not guilty but in the eyes of me, being the mother who I am, you are guilty. I am not going to give up."

Amir Locke Family Presser, Karen Wells, Rev. Al Sharpton, Ben Crump
Left to right: Rev. Al Sharpton, Karen Wells and Ben Crump (credit: CBS)

Wells and attorney Ben Crump vowed to keep fighting for justice and to ban no-knock warrants nationwide to prevent future tragedy.

At the state capitol, DFL lawmakers are also pushing to ban those warrants. They initially proposed curtailing their use just to hostage situations but last week approved changes to prohibit them.

There is similar legislation in Congress that would put strict limits on such warrants, a proposal in Amir Locke's name from U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representing Minnesota's Fifth District, which includes Minneapolis.

"If it can happen to Amir, it can happen to Breonna Taylor, it can happen to your children, too," Crump said.

The family's lawyers also say that the decision by state prosecutors does not impact potential civil action. Jeff Storms, one of those attorneys based in Minneapolis, said the legal team is reviewing the new report released Wednesday by Freeman and Ellison.

A community rally was held early Wednesday evening outside of the Hennepin County Government Center. Among those in attendance was Toshira Garraway, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence.

"It's not fair. It's not right. It hurts. It's a pain I can't describe," Garraway said.

Garraway said she knows that pain all too well, after losing a loved one to police violence more than a decade ago.

"If this was Jeremiah, Keith Ellison's son, if this was Mike Freeman's son, how would he feel?" Garraway said. "Does it have to be your children for you to feel our pain?"

Minnesota State Rep. John Thompson spoke at the rally.

"Remember who disappointed you today, because they'll be knocking on your door tomorrow asking for you to vote for them this November," Thompson said.

Kelly Thomas from Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar says the community is still dealing with grief.

"Amir Locke should still be alive," Thomas said. "We can't let them forget that we the people are powerful, and that we're watching."

Effective Friday, Minneapolis police can neither request nor execute no-knock search warrants, including those sought by surrounding law enforcement agencies.

The policy, announced by Mayor Jacob Frey, requires that officers announce their presence and wait a full 20 seconds for all warrants and 30 seconds during nighttime hours -- defined as between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. -- before entering, except in the exigent circumstances.

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