Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced it had completed its investigation into the officer-involved fatal shooting of 22-year-old Amir Locke and now it is up to prosecutors to decide whether to file criminal charges against any of the officers involved.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said his office would be assisting Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in making the charging decisions, KMSP reported.
In the last year, Ellison’s office successfully prosecuted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter for their officer-involved shootings.
Locke was killed on the seventh floor of the Bolero Flats apartment building at approximately 6:48 a.m. on Feb. 2, KSTP reported.
According to Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Interim Chief Amelia Huffman, an eight-person MPD SWAT team was executing the warrant in connection with a St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) homicide investigation that involved Locke’s younger cousin.
Bodycam footage showed an officer unlocking the apartment door just before the officers “loudly and repeatedly announced their presence” and entered the apartment, the MPD said in a news release.
They continued announcing themselves as they made their way into the living room area towards a couch, where a figure could be seen moving beneath a white blanket.
One officer kicked the couch and ordered the suspect to get onto the ground.
That’s when the suspect – later identified as the 22-year-old Locke – pointed a handgun in another officers’ direction, resulting in the officer firing at him multiple times, according to the press release.
“That’s the moment when the officer had to make a split-second decision, to assess the circumstances and to determine whether he felt like there was an articulable threat, that the threat was of imminent harm – great bodily harm or death – and that he needed to take action right then to protect himself and his partners,” Chief Huffman said, according to Bring Me The News.
“Ultimately, that decision, whether that threshold was met will be examined by the county attorney’s office that reviews this case,” she added.
Officers provided First Aid until EMS arrived but Locke died at the hospital, KMSP reported.
MPD Officer Mark Hanneman, a seven-year veteran of the department, has been identified as the officer who shot the armed suspect, KMSP reported.
Police arrested Locke’s 17-year-old cousin, Mehki Camden Speed, for murder five days later.
Officials said officers were trying to serve a warrant on Speed when Locke pointed a gun at police and was killed.
Locke was not named in the search warrant, and Chief Huffman said investigators are still looking into “if or how Mr. Locke is connected” to the homicide case in St. Paul, Bring Me The News reported.
Charging documents indicated that police executed search warrants on three different apartments in Bolero Flats, searching for Speed, the night that Locke was fatally shot, WCCO reported.
Speed was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the investigation of the Jan. 10 shooting death of Otis Elder in the 500-block of North Prior Avenue in St. Paul, WCCO reported.
Police said Speed’s fingerprint had been found on a stolen silver Mercedes Benz that was reportedly used in multiple armed robberies last fall before it was dumped on a parking ramp in Minneapolis.
Officers tried to track down Speed through his probation officer and his mother before ultimately finding him in Winona, WCCO reported.
Speed tried to flee but was apprehended and arrested.
Police said he had a loaded gun in his jacket, and that it appeared to be the same jacket he was wearing in the surveillance video that showed him shooting Elder.
Protests erupted in Minneapolis after Locke was killed and activists demanded that charges be filed against Officer Hanneman.
His family has complained that Locke was a legally registered firearm owner who pulled a gun when he was surprised by officers bursting in while he was sleeping, KMSP reported.