‘We’ve had how many days now for you to work? What are y’all doing? It does not take that long for you to work,’ a local activist told reporters on Monday.
A coalition of Black women and mothers, outraged over the police killing of Amir Locke in Minneapolis, called for the officer who fatally shot him to be fired along with the city’s interim police chief on Monday.
Locke’s cousin, Nneka Constantino, and his aunt, Neka Gray, were among the women who addressed reporters at Minneapolis City Hall early Monday afternoon.
A coalition of Black moms and other women called for the firing of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and the city’s interim police chief during a press conference on Feb. 7, 2022 in Minneapolis. (Credit: @KingDemetrius Pendleton on Facebook)
Locke was armed with a gun he was licensed to carry early Wednesday morning when a SWAT team entered his cousin’s apartment and found the 22-year-old laying on a couch under a blanket before shooting and killing him within seconds of entering the room.
Constantino compared how police in the Twin Cities region react to legally armed Black men such as Locke and Philando Castile to how officers in nearby Roseville, Minnesota recently responded to an armed man who shot at them.
“There was someone just a day or two ago who shot at the police and was disarmed,” she said. “We know that the police have training and they’ve demonstrated time and time again that they’re able to disarm and de-escalate, but that’s only deployed with non-Black people.”
Gray called for city officials to ban no-knock warrants, which she said only seem to affect people who look like her and her nephew.
“Unfortunately, Amir won’t benefit from it, but the next person will,” Gray said. “We don’t get to love on him and hug on him and see him live out his dream, but the next family can.”
Black Lives Matter Twin Cities leader Chauntyll Allen questioned why Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Locke and interim city police chief Amelia Huffman still haven’t fired the officer who shot Locke nearly a week ago.
It only took two days, Allen pointed out, for city leaders in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota to fire their city manager and for ex-officer Kim Potter to resign after she fatally shot Dante Wright last year.
“When somebody is not doing their job, when somebody is causing harm on the citizens that you’re responsible for, your constituents, it is your responsibility to fire everybody until you can fire the cop,” Allen said. “We’ve had how many days now for you to work? What are y’all doing? It does not take that long for you to work.”
Civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong demanded that the city cop who fatally shot Locke be fired immediately. She also called for Huffman to be fired or resign.
“She failed — miserably,” Armstrong said of Huffman. “Even after the body camera footage was released, she continued to distort the truth. … So we ask that Mayor Jacob Frey step up to the plate immediately. No more excuses, no more hiding behind policies that do not fully get implemented.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Frey’s office did not immediately respond on Tuesday to an emailed request for comment.
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