US police publish footage showing officer shooting black man

A screengrab from the Minneapolis Police Department body camera footage shows Amir Locke on a sofa under a blanket before being shot. PHOTO: MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT/AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The authorities in the United States city of Minneapolis, where Mr George Floyd was murdered in 2020, published body camera video on Thursday (Feb 3) showing the police shooting of a 22-year-old African American man.

According to the police, Mr Amir Locke was shot on Wednesday by officers who were executing a search warrant on the apartment he was in, after Mr Locke pulled a gun from beneath a blanket.

The total time between the officers' entrance and the shots fired was less than ten seconds.

Mr Locke was pronounced dead at hospital.

The local Star Tribune newspaper reported that Mr Locke was not named in the search warrant, but said he was related to a suspect in the investigation of a homicide.

The family's attorneys said in a statement on Thursday that he "legally possessed a firearm", and had no past criminal record.

His mother told the Star Tribune: "We want justice for our son."

In the video, an officer uses a key to unlock the door and then a group of officers enter while shouting "Police, search warrant!"

Mr Locke, who was on a couch, starts to rise from beneath a blanket, with a gun in his hand, when police fire.

The family has retained lawyer Ben Crump, who has represented multiple black victims of police violence, including Mr Floyd and Ms Breonna Taylor, whose killings in 2020 sparked nationwide protests.

Crump will hold a virtual press conference on Friday morning with the family, they said in a statement.

In May 2020, Mr Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Two months earlier, Ms Taylor was killed after the police entered her home after midnight and her boyfriend, thinking they were intruders, fired on them.

Conversations on the police radio prior to the Minneapolis events on Wednesday suggest that the police had planned a "no-knock" entrance, the Star-Tribune reported.

"Like the case of Breonna Taylor, the tragic killing of Amir Locke shows a pattern of no-knock warrants having deadly consequences for Black Americans," said Mr Crump in a statement.

"We will continue pushing for answers in this case so that Amir's grieving family can get the closure they deserve," he added.

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