Rev. Al Sharpton delivers eulogy at Amir Locke's funeral

Amir Locke
Posted at 8:52 AM, Feb 17, 2022

Friends and family of Amir Locke gathered in Minneapolis Thursday to mourn the man who was shot and killed by police during a no-knock raid on an apartment earlier this month.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the service, which according to CBS News was held at Shiloh Temple International Ministries.

Rev. Al Sharpton presided over the service and delivered a stirring eulogy in honor of Locke.

“Amir was not guilty of anything but being young and Black in America,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton also derided the state of Minnesota over the lack of action on legislation to ban the use of no-knock warrants.

Ben Crump, a high-profile civil rights attorney representing Locke's family, also spoke at the service.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that neither Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey nor Minneapolis police officials will be attendance at the funeral out of respect for the family's wishes.

Locke, 22, died on Feb. 2 when Minneapolis police officers conducted a raid on an apartment where he was staying. Body camera footage shows that officers announced their presence only after opening the apartment door with a key.

When officers entered the apartment, they found Locke asleep on the couch. Footage shows Locke stirring under a blanket and briefly brandishing a handgun, which was not pointed at officers.

Officers fired several shots that ultimately killed Locke. They fired their weapons about 10 seconds after entering the apartment.

Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison is investigating the incident. Officer Mark Hanneman, the officer who fired the shots, was placed on administrative leave.

Minneapolis police officials say Hanneman was forced to make a "split-second decision" after seeing Locke's gun.

Officers conducted the raid without announcing themselves despite the city of Minneapolis taking steps to limit no-knock warrants "except in certain circumstances like hostage situations."

Locke is just the latest Black man in the region to be killed during police confrontations in recent years. In 2020, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked months of protests against police brutality and systemic racism. A year later, as a Minnesota court tried former police officer Derek Chauvin for Floyd's murder, Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in nearby Brooklyn Center.