Minneapolis revises warrant policy after Locke murder


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a new policy on search warrants Monday following the police shooting of a black man in a downtown apartment, with officers held to knock and wait a certain amount of time before entering a residence.

Police should wait 20 seconds before entering a residence when executing a daytime warrant and 30 seconds for night searches. No-knock warrants would be prohibited except in the most extreme circumstances, such as a hostage-taking.

The new policy would also include regular civilian review of search video and public disclosure of warrant data.

The city’s warrant policy came under scrutiny after a SWAT team shot and killed 22-year-old Amir Locke in early February. Body camera video showed an officer using a key to unlock the door of a city center apartment and enter without knocking, followed by at least four officers in uniforms and protective vests, shortly before 7 a.m. .

The video recorded officers shouting “Police, search warrant!” and “Get down!” and showed an officer kicking a sectional couch. Locke, who was wrapped in a duvet on the couch, is seen starting to move, holding a gun, and three shots are heard.

Locke’s parents said their son, who did not live in the flat and was not named in the search warrants, was “executed” after he appeared to be jolted awake. They say he had a license and permit for the gun.

Lawyers for the Locke family said in a statement they were encouraged by Minneapolis’ proposal.

“We hope that these proposed reforms will not only be implemented in Minneapolis, but also spread throughout local, state and federal governments so that there can be protections in place nationwide to prevent another person from suffer the tragedy that took the life of Amir Locke or Breonna Taylor,” their statement read.

The policy will apply to warrants that Minneapolis police execute for other agencies as well as warrants that Minneapolis requests to be executed in other cities or by other agencies. Locke was killed while Minneapolis officers were executing a warrant in a St. Paul homicide case, though St. Paul officials say they did not request the use of no-knock entry .


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