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‘This Is Not Over’: Angry and Frustrated, Amir Locke’s Family Says They’re Pursuing Federal Lawsuit In Wake of Minnesota Declining to Charge Cop Who Killed Him as He Awakened on a Couch

“Be prepared for this family because every time you take a step, we’re going to be right behind you, this is not over,” said Karen Wells, the mother of Amir Locke.

The family of Amir Locke is angry, frustrated and disgusted with the decision by Minnesota prosecutors not to file criminal charges against the Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Locke, 22, during a no-knock raid in February.

Sherman Wells is Locke’s cousin, and he says learning no charges will be filed against the officers caused him to relive the tragedy of losing his cousin all over again.

“It’s just like it happened all over again, like a big slap in the face, we weren’t surprised, we’re definitely disgusted,” Sherman Wells said.

Locke was killed just before 7 in the morning of Feb. 2. Minneapolis police were executing a no-knock search warrant, bodycam video shows nine officers storming into the apartment that belonged to Locke’s cousin after unlocking the front door. Locke was fast asleep on a couch in what appears to be living room, wrapped in a blanket with his gun in hand.

Within nine seconds of entering the apartment, Officer Mark Hanneman fired the fatal gunshot killing Locke. It was announced at the time by the interim police chief, Locke was not named in the search warrant.

“Even putting together his obituary, it just doesn’t even seem real I’m holding this in my hand,” Wells said still grappling with the loss of his cousin.

Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said they declined to file criminal charges against the officers because: “there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case.

The state would be unable to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of Minnesota’s use-of-deadly force statue, that authorized the use of force by officer Hanneman … or any other officer involved in the decision-making that led to Amir Locke’s death.”

Sherman Wells says since no criminal charges against the officers will be filed, the family will pursue a federal civil rights wrongful death lawsuit.

“We’re not going to just let it go, it’s like you don’t charge him even though we’ve seen and the world has seen a video of you doing it, you admitted he wasn’t the person but just since you’re saying the law doesn’t allow you to charge him we’re supposed to forget he even existed and just move on with our life and take an ‘L’ like we don’t know who’s walking around who killed Amir and you’re back getting paid,” Wells said.

“We’re going to continue fight for justice because this was a 22-year-old life that was snuffed out, we barely had enough information to write an obituary because his life wasn’t over,” Wells went on to say of the family’s continued fight for justice.

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