Minnesota Gun Rights Group Condemns Use of ‘No-Knock Warrant’ After Amir Locke’s Death, Supports His Rights as a Legal Gun Owner – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A gun advocate group on Friday called for an independent inquiry into Amir Locke’s killing of a Minneapolis police officer after learning Locke was a legal gun owner at the time of his death.
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, an organization that pushes for the protection of the Minnesota people’s right to keep and carry weapons, issued a statement condemning the use of non-bank orders as the one executed in the apartment where he was killed, saying his death was “completely avoidable.”
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Amir Locke was allowed to carry a gun, his family said, and no criminal record in Minnesota.
In an interview, Rob Doar, the group’s vice president, stressed that individuals have the right to self-defense in your home or “no matter what residence you live in.”
“Amir Locke was allowed to carry, which is not required to carry in your own home, but it just shows that he was in fact a law-abiding citizen and was not prohibited from possessing a firearm so that any citizen could end up in this situation, ”he said.
Doar warned that no-knock warrants are risky, especially when he said gun ownership rose to record levels last year. Ben Crump, the Locke family’s attorney who also represented George Floyd’s family, thanked the Minnesota Gun Caucus for their support last Friday.
“So now every day we come into a situation where law enforcers are or may encounter someone who is legally armed inside their home,” Doar said. “The use of no-knock warrants is counterproductive to this right of self-defense.”
READ MORE: Mayor Jacob Frey stops ban on banks in Minneapolis after Amir Locke’s murder
This is not the first time the group has spoken out when there has been a deadly encounter with law enforcement. The Gun Owners Caucus said Philando Castile acted responsibly when he told an officer he had a gun on him before he was killed during a 2016 traffic jam.
Community members demand more transparency
Pain is to be felt among Minneapolis residents who are furious at the police killing of Amir Locke and are demanding answers as to how it could have happened – that Locke lost his life while carrying out a search warrant in which he was not even named, according to Minneapolis Interim Chief of Police Amelia Huffman.
“How did nine seconds of a search warrant end with a man’s life?” questioned Al Flowers Jr. at a press conference in a church in southern Minneapolis.
Rev. Ian Bethel said Huffman met with the Unity Community Mediation Team Thursday morning, a day after the fatal shooting. He said he appreciated that effort, but there needs to be more accountability and transparency.
“This city of Minneapolis needs to wake up and come to the realization that we are in trauma,” he said. “A young man asked why he’s lying there with a gun – it’s because we’re traumatized. It’s evidence of trauma.”
This follows the civil rights lawyer and social activist Nikema Levy Armstrong, who emotionally interrupted an official press conference from MPD and Mayor Jacob Frey on Thursday, criticizing them for “laundering” Locke’s murder.
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“People are asking very simple questions that have still not been answered,” she said. “I can not tolerate money laundering.”