Skip to main content

In an emotional press conference, the parents of 22-year-old Amir Locke mourned their "good kid" with a "beautiful smile," and called for justice after he was shot dead by a Minneapolis police officer during a Wednesday morning raid.

His father, Andre Locke and mother Karen Wells, joined family attorneys Benjamin Crump, Jeff Storms, and Tony Romanucci Wednesday morning, just two days after Locke died following the execution of a no-knock warrant by an MPD SWAT team at the Bolero Flats apartment building in downtown Minneapolis.

Locke's parents described him as a "good kid" with ambitions, who promised to "take care" of his family, a talented musician who was optimistic with plans to grow his career and help young people.

It was also revealed that he had planned to leave Minneapolis to stay with his mother in Dallas, Texas, as soon as next week to kickstart his career, with his father saying: "We talked about it would be better to leave Minneapolis."

Amir had a legal permit to carry a firearm, they said, noting that he had been recently working as a DoorDash driver at a time, with his father saying he wanted to protect himself amid a reported rise in carjackings across the metro, with rideshare and delivery drivers among those targeted.

Andre Locke said that their family has a law enforcement background, with cousins who work with sheriff's offices in Chicago, as well as another cousin in federal law enforcement who was a "mentor" to Amir.


- Police release bodycam video showing killing of Amir Locke

Amir Locke: MPD chief, Frey scrutinized at tense press conference

Locke and Wells said they had always raised their children to be respectful of law enforcement, and to take steps to ensure their safety in the event they were pulled over, or approached by police.

But, they say, Amir wasn't given any chance to do so when a SWAT team suddenly burst into an apartment while he was sleeping on the couch as they carried out a search warrant relating to a St. Paul homicide, on which Amir wasn't named.

"Amir didn't deserve what happened. Amir was surprised. Life was taken from him, in an unjust way," Andre Locke said. "My son was startled when that officer kicked the couch. The kid was a deep sleeper, it takes a lot to wake him up. For them to kick the couch and startle him. Those officers aggravated him, almost like they wanted him to reach for something. To take his life."

"He was very respectful, he was raised with morals and values," Wells said. "He respected law enforcement. We always made sure that all of our sons knew what to do whenever they encountered police officers. They always knew what happened in this world to unarmed Black males."

"My son didn't deserve it, the rest of the Black males in this city and across this nation didn't deserve it," she added.

When asked what they would miss most about their son, Andre Locke said: "He was funny. What I enjoyed about him he enjoyed learning. He wasn't the type of kid that he felt he knew everything. He would always research everything.

"He was a protector of the family. He wanted to make a difference. [I'll miss] being able to talk to him and talk about the plans he intended. I miss him saying 'don't worry dad, I'll take care of all of the family.'"

His mother responded: "[I'll miss] his laugh, and his beautiful smile. We would always Facetime when we were away from each other. We always ended our phone calls telling each other we loved each other. I'm gonna miss being able to see my son grow into a man. I'm going to miss that he didn't get the chance to become a father, to give us grandchildren."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

'When will the city learn from its mistakes?'

Before Locke's parents spoke, the attorneys representing the family joined to slam the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Police Department for failing to make the changes they believe are needed after the death of George Floyd and the high-profile deaths of other Black people at the hands of law enforcement nationwide.

After seeing the bodycam video on Thursday evening, attorney Tony Romanucci said that his first reaction was, "it's wrong."

He criticized MPD for not announcing themselves before they entered, not knocking, and failing to identify who they were looking for. He also said the seven seconds of time that elapsed between entering the apartment and shooting Amir was too short.

Storms asked "when is this city going to hold itself accountable?" highlighting among other things how in the wake of the killing of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and MPD had pledged to restrict the use of no-knock warrants.

"We have a city that refuses to learn. We have a man called David Smith who died in a very similar circumstances to George Floyd. Ten years later we had one of the most horrific civil rights violations with the murder of George Floyd.

"In the wake of George Floyd we had the issue of no-knock warrants, and the city acted as if it did learn by saying it was going to limit them. If you look at it, you would have believed the City of Minneapolis banned no-knock warrants. They are still allowing them to occur.

"You see ... the police department say they announced at the threshold. You've seen the video, there's no announcement prior to entering, they barge in ... and they don't give Amir the opportunity to save his life. That's something we don't see white citizens encounter.

"Our city has to do better. We continue to be known for these colossal civil rights failures. Is the city going to hold itself accountable, and can we believe the city anymore when it says it's going to learn from its mistakes and the high-profile mistakes of others?"

Next Up

Eagle Ridge Middle School

Charges: Sting catches MN principal trying to hire child prostitute

Authorities alleged Mohamed Selim attempted to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex on Tuesday.

cub donuts 1

Nominate a 'local hero' to get a dozen Cub donuts from Salvation Army

The organization is looking for 1,000 volunteers to help with the effort in the metro.

Minnesota State Patrol helicopter windshield broken after duck flies through it.

Duck smashes through chopper window and hits State Patrol pilot

Two pilots were on the aircraft at the time, with one of them sustaining a head injury.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, May 19

It's been 805 days since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Minnesota on March 5, 2020.


Charges: Minnetonka Nordstrom employee stole $500,000 in merchandise

Store employees used a covert camera to investigate disappearing merchandise.

Smoothing concrete

Woman drives into wet concrete, gets stuck in attempt to flee police

The 53-year-old woman drove into wet concrete trying to flee police on Monday.

Jennifer Carnahan

Family of late Rep. Hagedorn sues widow Carnahan over unpaid medical expenses

The lawsuits allege that Carnahan has yet to reimburse Hagedorn's family for medical expenses despite promising to do so.

storm, severe weather, derecho

Hail and tornadoes possible Thursday in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin

Storms are expected to fire along a warm front draped across southern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 8.02.52 AM

Bde Maka Ska pavilion construction begins next week

The former lakeside food stand, home to Lola on the Lake, caught fire in 2019.

Pixabay - laptop computer dark screen

Undercover child sex sting sees 4 men arrested in St. Louis Park

One of the men is being held as he's in a position of authority of power over children.


New Raptor Center data shows 'substantial drop' in bird flu patients

However, the virus remains a serious health threat for birds.


Screen Shot 2022-02-07 at 7.35.59 AM

Amir Locke killing: Where things stand Monday morning

Here are the developments from the past few days.

karen wells amir locke mother april 6 2022 fox 5 ny

Amir Locke's mother says she is 'disgusted' after charging decision

The officer who killed Locke will not face criminal charges in his killing.

Screen Shot 2022-02-03 at 7.01.05 PM

Minneapolis releases bodycam video showing officer shoot, kill Amir Locke

The 22-year-old was killed during a morning raid at a downtown apartment building.

Amir Locke 1 crop

Hennepin attorney, AG will review Locke shooting for possible charges

Locke was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer Wednesday morning.

Amir Locke 1 crop

No criminal charges in police killing of Amir Locke

Prosecutors said there is "insufficient admissible evidence" to prove wrongdoing.

Screen Shot 2022-02-03 at 7.01.05 PM

Amir Locke police shooting: What we do and don't know 2 days later

Many details remain opaque and many questions remain unanswered. Here's what we do know.

Amir locke

Minneapolis police union issues new statement on Amir Locke killing

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said 'no conclusions should be made' till the BCA investigation is complete.