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No prosecution after the death of an African American killed by a police officer in Minneapolis

Protesters march in memory of Amir Locke on February 5, 2022 in Minneapolis, United States.

The Minnesota prosecutor announced on Wednesday April 6 that he was giving up the prosecution of the police officer accused of having killed an African-American during a search in Minneapolis in February, believing that there was not enough evidence. showing that the officer had broken the law. “After a careful study of all available elements, (…) there is not enough admissible evidence to trigger a prosecution in this matter”defended in a press release the prosecutor, Keith Ellison.

Through the voice of his lawyer Ben Crump, the family of the young man said to themselves “deeply disappointed” by the prosecutor’s decision, considering that “tragic death” by Amir Locke “should never have happened”. The lawyer has announced civil lawsuits in this case.

Amir Locke, 22, was shot dead on February 2 in the early hours of the morning by a police officer, acting on a warrant for his arrest said no knock (“without knocking on the door”), issued as part of a homicide investigation, in an apartment in this metropolis in the north of the United States which remains traumatized by the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. After the tragedy, the family had denounced a “execution”accusing the agents of not having “left no chance” to their son.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers One year after the death of George Floyd, the American police still as lethal for blacks

A tragedy that occurred in less than nine seconds

Video released by law enforcement a few days after his death shows officers entering with a key, then loudly announcing themselves. Amir Locke, asleep on the sofa in the living room, then fidgets under his duvet, grabs a pistol and sits up slightly. Gunshots ring out. The whole thing takes less than nine seconds.

“There is no evidence that [Amir Locke] was a suspect or that he intended to harm the policeman” taking his weapon, Mr. Ellison explained during a press conference. But other videos recorded by the body cameras of the other police officers present showed that the weapon “was pointed in the direction of the policeman” who fired the shots, he said.

This is “a heartbreaking situation”, in which “a young man is dead”corn “You can’t judge someone because the public wants it”underlined the prosecutor, who is African-American.

These so-called mandates no knock have been implicated in several cases of police violence against the black community in the country and Minnesota had restricted their use after the major demonstrations in the summer of 2020.

The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, announced immediately after the tragedy the immediate suspension of this type of mandate in his city.

Le Monde and AFP

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