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St. Paul, Minn. – Students across the Twin Cities metro walked out of class Tuesday afternoon in protest of the police killing of 22-year-old Amir Locke.
Hundreds of students were carrying banners saying “Protect Young Black Lives” and “Justice for Amir Locke” as the protest headed towards the Governor’s mansion.
The students were demanding justice for Amir Locke as well as a statewide ban on no-knock warrants.
“I feel like we’ve all had this concern with Breonna Taylor, when we saw her case happen with the no-knock warrant,” Grace Mutondo, a senior, told WCCO. “We also saw how Kentucky took over and how they banned the no-knock warrants.”
Minnesota Teen Activists and the Black Student Union organized the protest. They also want a full review of MPD’s SWAT practices, along with the resignations of the interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
Shooting of Amir Locke
The protest comes a week after Minneapolis SWAT released bodycam footage of a Wednesday morning shooting in a no-knock raid that killed 22-year-old Amir Locke.
At around 6:45 a.m., SWAT officers used a key to quietly enter the apartment that Locke was asleep in. As soon as the door opens, officers enter the apartment yelling “police, search warrant,” with guns drawn.
In less than 10 seconds, Locke was shot three times, still wrapped under the blankets he was asleep under on the couch.
At a press conference late last week, Mayor Frey and Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman regurgitated familiar post-Black shooting talking points, however, the community was not having it.
As Huffman nervously stammered through questions, attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong injected herself in the failing presser. As co-chair of the’ newly established Commission on Community Safety, Armstong demanded better.
She spoke truth to power and let them know their response to yet another police-involved murder is unacceptable.
In a scathing rebuke, Armstrong let it be known, “I don’t know how you guys slept that night.”
“We cannot sit here and pretend that it’s okay.” Armstrong stated,”we are ready for change… we don’t want to see cover-up, we don’t want to see whitewashing.”
“We’re tired of being killed, we’re tired of the cover-ups, we’re tired of the excuses,” said Armstrong. “People have put their lives on the line because we’re ready for change.”
Late Tuesday, Minnesota House Democrats at the state Capitol said they plan to introduce legislation that would ban no-knock warrants in Minnesota.