Family, friends and community members gather Thursday morning at a church in north Minneapolis, where they will mourn the death and celebrate the life of Amir Locke, whom police shot and killed earlier this month during a a raid on a downtown apartment.
Locke, 22, will be remembered at the funeral at Shiloh Temple International Ministries on West Broadway, where famed civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy.
The funeral will begin at 11 a.m., with a public screening beginning an hour earlier. A family procession will take place in the moments leading up to the service and will include Locke’s parents, Andre Locke and Karen Wells.
The church parking lot was full long before the funeral began. Two community street patrol organizations were visible around the temple building.
The bishop said he expected about 1,500 attendees.
Ben Crump, the attorney who has represented many black families who have lost loved ones to police action, said he would issue a “call for justice” during the service.
Among the dignitaries expected at Locke’s public funeral are Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Mayor Jacob Frey’s office said he was not present. The office did not provide a reason, but Shiloh Temple Bishop Richard Howell Jr. said the Locke family did not extend an invitation.
Acting Police Chief Amelia Huffman will also not be on duty. Howell said Huffman and the police department as a whole were not welcome given the circumstances of Locke’s death.
Locke was shot by police officer Mark Hanneman as a Minneapolis SWAT team executed a “no-hit” search warrant in a St. Paul homicide case.
Hanneman shot Locke during the early morning raid as Locke emerged from under a blanket onto a couch while clutching a gun. The police were not looking for Locke and he was not named in the warrants.
The state’s Bureau of Criminal Arrest is investigating Locke’s death and will report its findings to the state attorney general’s office, which will decide whether the shooting was legally justified or whether Hanneman should be charged with a crime.
The pre-dawn raid stems from the shooting death of Otis Elder, 38, in an apparent drug deal Jan. 10 outside a music recording studio in St. Paul. Latest court filings accuse Locke’s 17-year-old cousin Mekhi Speed and others with him of ‘attempting to steal [Elder] money and/or drugs.”
Speed, of Minneapolis, was charged last week with second-degree murder in connection with Elder’s murder. He remains in custody ahead of a March 16 court hearing to respond to the Ramsey County District Attorney’s Office’s request to transfer his case to adult court.
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