A 17-year-old was arrested in connection to a homicide investigation that led to the death of Amir Locke, who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer last week during a predawn “no-knock” raid. The teenager was identified as Locke’s cousin in court documents. Prosecutors have charged him with second-degree murder in the Jan. 10 fatal shooting of 38-year-old Otis Rodney Elder.
New details about the investigation emerged that led to the fatal encounter with Locke, 22, who was not named in the search warrant. Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman said last week that officers from the Minneapolis Police Department were executing the warrant as part of the St. Paul homicide investigation. Police tracked the teenaged suspect and his associates to the Bolero Flats apartment building in Minneapolis, ultimately executing search warrants on three apartments: the one the teen lived in with his mother; another apartment two doors down connected to his associate; and an apartment belonging to the girlfriend of the teen’s brother seven floors down. Minneapolis police say the last apartment where Locke was killed was the only one with a “no-knock warrant.”
The charging documents say that investigators had those three search warrants and probable cause “pick up and holds,” which would allow them to arrest the teen and two associates on suspicion of murder and aiding an offender after the fact. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Locke’s parents, confirmed in a statement that the charged teenager is Locke’s cousin and that “all available information confirms that Amir was never a target of that investigation or those search warrants.”
The search warrant for the downtown Minneapolis apartment building will likely be unsealed after the teenager is arraigned and provide more information about his connection to the case. He is currently being held in Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center. The state asked the court for an order enabling it to prosecute the 17-year-old as an adult because “retaining the proceeding in juvenile court does not serve public safety.”
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