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Mayor Jacob Frey Halts No-Knock Warrants In Minneapolis Following Amir Locke's Killing

Originally published on Feb. 4, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Following the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke this week, Mayor Jacob Frey imposed Friday a moratorium on both the request and execution of no-knock warrants in Minneapolis.

"No matter what information comes to light, it won't change the fact that Amir Locke's life was cut short," Frey said, in a statement. "To ensure safety of both the public and officers until a new policy is crafted, I'm issuing a moratorium on both the request and execution of such warrants in Minneapolis."

There is one exception to his moratorium, and that is when there is "an imminent threat of harm to an individual or the public," the mayor's office said. In such a case, the warrant would need to be approved by the Interim Chief Amelia Huffman. In all other cases, warrants must be executed with officers knocking on a door, announcing their presence, and waiting a reasonable time before entering.

Locke, 22, was fatally shot Wednesday morning in a downtown apartment after a SWAT team burst in the door, executing a no-knock warrant. Locke, who was wrapped in a blanket on a couch at the time, sat up with a gun, body-camera video of the shooting showed. Locke, a legal gun owner, was shot three times, and died minutes later.

Also in the mayor's statement, Frey said that the leadership of the Minneapolis Police Department will work with national experts DeRay McKesson and Dr. Pete Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University to review and suggest revisions to the department's policy on no-knock warrants.

"Over the last several years, our team has been working with jurisdictions across the country to implement meaningful changes to search warrant execution laws and policies," McKesson said, in a statement. "On our call, it was clear that Mayor Frey is committed to making changes to these processes in order to protect lives in Minneapolis and we are ready to lend a hand in this critical work."

Previously, in 2020, Frey issued a policy restricting the execution of no-knock warrants in the city. The policy required that officers announce their presence prior to entry in all but exigent circumstances.

In Locke's killing, the body-camera video released Thursday shows that officers announced their presence as they were entering the apartment, after they'd opened the door.

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