Amir Locke Credit: Family photo

Before he was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer, Amir Locke had been making plans.

The 22-year-old Black man had filed paperwork to start a music business, his mother said, and had already designed a logo. Next week, he planned to move to Dallas, where he would be closer to his mom and — he hoped — build a career as a hip-hop artist, following in the musical footsteps of his father.

His death inside a Minneapolis apartment where police were serving a search warrant early Wednesday has renewed calls for police accountability and justice for Black people who are too often victims. It also left Locke’s tight-knit family, friends and a community grieving for the life he didn’t get to live.

“Amir was a bright light, and he deserves to be able to shine,” his father, Andre Locke, said during a news conference Friday.

Many questions remain about the events leading up to Locke’s death. But a police bodycam video shows officers entering the apartment without knocking and an officer kicking the couch where Locke’s family said he was sleeping. On the video, he is seen wrapped in a comforter, beginning to move, with a pistol in his hand just before an officer fires his weapon.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT

Locke’s family said he had no criminal record, and he had a license and concealed carry permit for the gun, which they said he had for protection because he worked in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area as a driver for a food delivery service. His family includes several people with backgrounds in law enforcement and the military, and his parents and a cousin said they spoke often with Amir and other young Black men in the family about how to handle interactions with police: keep your hands visible, don’t make any sudden movements.

They believe Amir, who they say was a deep sleeper, was startled when the officer kicked the couch inside his cousin’s apartment and didn’t know who was inside when he grabbed for his gun.

Those closest to him repeatedly described him as “a good kid.”

“You took a good kid who was trying to make the best out of his environment, and surpass it and succeed and he was doing it,” said Reginald McClure, a close cousin of Andre Locke who works in law enforcement in Texas. “He was figuring out life, but he was doing it safely.”

Amir Locke was born in the St. Paul suburb of Maplewood, his mother Karen Wells said, with “a headful of curly hair.” He grew up in the suburbs, where he played basketball in middle school and tried out for his high school football team.

“But he broke his collarbone, so that didn’t last,” Wells recalled.

His true passion was music, and he had a natural talent for it, his mother said. Locke enjoyed hip-hop, and speaking about “the realities of what’s going on in the neighborhoods,” Andre Locke said. He also wanted to work with young people, his mother said.

McClure also recalled Amir Locke as having “a big heart.”

When his grandmother died last year, Amir didn’t want to see her body in the casket so he stayed outside in the parking lot during the funeral, McClure said. After the funeral ended, Andre Locke and the funeral director arranged to have Amir go inside through a back door so he could be alone with his grandmother.

“We have these pictures with him, and he’s standing there and he’s saying goodbye to his grandmother,” McClure said. “And here’s the crazy part. The same funeral home that he was so heartbroken to go see his grandmother in because of the bigness of his heart, is the same one he’s going to be in.”

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Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York City contributed to this report.

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1 Comment

  1. Why does the so called Mother has trouble keeping herself from laughing, and the ”Fathers” voice seems very much a voice over , I know that George Floyd was a fake staged set up, and I knew him (know) personally, and no, not no conspiracy theories , just plain facts , and seeing this, raises many questions …. the mother I already know who that is, but the father I will have to observe a little bit more! What could be the reason behind all those fakery’s … that I cannot tell you, plus I don’t care , what bothers me the most is the way they have people upset over scripted murders, whilst actual victims barely getting mentioned in the so called last page section of Newspapers (is it still like that, after that 9/11 artwork of 3D manipulation, the media has gone of the wall with making up news stories with bad actors, like those two here , so I don’t know what a news paper looks like anymore! Another way to tell that it is staged is , when EVERY SINGLE investigative Journalist, all of a sudden, loose their common sense, and Google erases every single opposing thought , right or wrong, then posts a few off the wall, conspiracy theories (ex: George Floyd was seen as a Hologram, minutes before the incident, with green skin, LMAO) so outlandish, witch obviously, seeing the delicate nature of this new (sigh) incident, if it were true , would be dismissed , no matter what is presented! What I don’t understand is that, nobody ever seems to keep track of all those families, plus those are the smallest black family’s ever , and they all disappear soon after the incident ! Now if !! this get published , they might make me homeless again, as punishment , but now I’m more pre-paired (if one can ever be!?) I got a few sets of extra foot-ware and clothes, aslong as they don’t place me as a scripted criminal , or whatever is on their childish manipulative minds! And Al Sharpton is way up in there also, for all who had a doubt , SMH, I was wondering were Marjory all of a sudden left to, after her (??)daughter was trying to get me to pay for her so called school, I will probably see her as one of the nieces or sisters , can’t wait , I wish I could say , this is better then what we get as movies, but although most new movies are crap, because they are loaded with those arrogant ”cry-sis” actors , , so actually …no …. they are both non entertaining, and so many grown ups having to play along and actually feel as if they are doing something phenomenal, where’s the ”tricks are for Kids” way of life, where one can tell when one is starting to mature, oh … that only for the manipulated few … Anyway, (not to get in trouble as they can dish it out all day, but as it is with kids, they are very sensitive to anyone that doesn’t want to play along) just me talking crazy people, this is a very serious matter and I want to give my condolences to whom ever is shot , or whatever happened!

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