Community leaders respond to fatal MPD shooting body camera video release

Late Friday morning, community leaders responded to the release of body camera video in connection with a fatal Minneapolis police shooting Wednesday.

WATCH: Community leaders hold a news conference following the release of police body camera footage involving the death of Amir Locke

Members of the Unity Community Mediation Team (UCMT) said they met with Minneapolis Police Department Interim Chief Amelia Huffman on Thursday to discuss the shooting that happened in the midst of serving a search warrant in connection with a St. Paul homicide case early Wednesday morning.

22-year-old Amir Locke was killed in the shooting.

RELATED: Body camera video of fatal MPD shooting released; city leaders, activists respond

UCMT team members held a news conference Friday following the release of bodycam video in connection with the incident. You can view that news conference in its entirety above.

The news conference was held shortly after Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced his office will be working with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and review Locke’s death.

RELATED: Minnesota AG Ellison, Hennepin County Attorney Freeman reviewing death of Amir Locke

“I stand here today frustrated. I stand here today upset. I stand here today with more questions than answers,” said Al Flowers Jr., the Youth Project Coordinator. “Why were they there at 5 or 6 a.m., why not wait outside? How do we say we banned no-knock warrants, and there was a no-knock warrant? How did nine seconds of an arrest warrant, or a search warrant, end up with a man’s life?”

Flowers Jr. went on to say he sat through similar news conferences when he was younger.

“I sat through these same press conferences as a 14 or 15-year-old man, young boy, talking about the same cases and I stand here in 2022, two years from George Floyd with the whole world watching, and see no tangible change in the department.”

Other UCMT members stressed the need for unity and transparency in the community, adding they will continue to monitor the process of mediation.

A clip of body camera video released late Thursday shows a group of law enforcement officers turning a key to the apartment door silently.

Content warning: The following video is unredacted and contains graphic scenes and strong language that some viewers may find offensive.

The video has not been edited from how its original form was provided by the Minneapolis Police Department. If you are unable to view the video aboveclick here.

Upon turning the handle, officers walk through the doorway and then yell to announce their presence. At least four officers enter the apartment.

“Police search warrant!” officers yell at least four times. Their continued yelling including shouts of “hands, hands!” and two calls for the man to “get on the ground” and “get on the f****** ground.”

A man is lying on a couch under a blanket unmoving and only rises when officers kick the couch.

He starts to rise from the waist, holding a handgun, with the barrel pointed toward the ground, finger out — not on the trigger.

An officer fires three shots from mere feet away while the man is still huddled under a blanket on the couch and the man falls to the ground. The video abruptly ends. Approximately nine seconds elapse from officers turning the key to shots being fired.

During a news conference Thursday night, Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman asserted that the officers announced their presence before entering the apartment amid repeated questioning that the video appeared to show that officers did not do so.

“It’s just not true,” one reporter said.

“I definitely encourage everyone to view the video and make that assessment for themselves,” Huffman replied.

Wednesday, Huffman said Locke was a suspect and that the gun was pointed at officers. The video appears to show that the gun is pointed toward the floor. When asked about the discrepancy, Huffman said the video does not show all the officers in the frame. When pushed further on the topic, she said that will be up to county prosecutors to decide when reviewing the case. 

Later in the news conference, Huffman said that it was “unclear if or how Mr. Locke is connected to St. Paul’s investigation, and more information will be coming as St. Paul —” and she is cut off by more questions from the crowd, some asking why Locke was referred to as a suspect in a previous press release from MPD.