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New data shows number of no-knock search warrants Minneapolis PD requested since September

Since Sept. 1, Minnesota state law requires law enforcement agencies report the use of such warrants no later than three months after they are issued.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis PD says it requested both a "no-knock and knock search warrant" that ultimately led to Amir Locke's death.

Interim police chief Amelia Huffman says it was to help the responding SWAT team make the "best possible decision".

As of Tuesday night, the warrant to support the raid hasn't been made public.

On the morning of the raid that led to Locke's death, MPD reported it was looking for his cousin, Mekhi Speed, who was wanted in connection to a recent murder in St. Paul.

In 2020, court records show that Speed pleaded guilty to shooting a man in the leg when he was 16-years-old.

Hennepin County Judge Shereen Askalani placed Speed at the West Central Regional Juvenile Center in Moorhead. After his discharge, the judge found that he violated his probation for not keeping in regular contact with probation, testing positive for pot twice, failing to attend school and failing to attend therapy.

On Oct. 22, Askalani ordered him to stay in contact with probation and sent him back home to live with his mother on electronic home monitoring for 30 days — the same apartment complex where Locke was killed.

His legal team releasing a statement that says: “We are aware of the recent reports of an arrest and the charging of a teenager in connection with the warrants executed at the Bolero Flats on February 2, 2022. We can confirm that the charged teenager is Amir Locke’s cousin. His cousin was not present in Unit 701, where the no-knock warrant and Amir were both executed. All available information confirms that Amir was never a target of that investigation or those search warrants. We must remain focused on the fact that Amir was an innocent young man of a raid gone terribly gone, who is now the latest statistic and victim of the dangerous and intrusive no-knock warrant techniques that must be banned.”

The Minneapolis mayor has since enacted a moratorium on both the request and execution of those warrants.

But we now know that MPD carried out 78 no knock warrants in 2021, according to new data from the City of Minneapolis. That number is down from 171 in 2020. 

2020 is the same year Mayor Jacob Frey also ended the practice of police entering unannounced, no matter the warrant. 

In 2019, that same data shows MPD executed 194 no-knock warrants — the most in the last six years, according to that same data.

And since Sept. 1, a new state law now requires law enforcement agencies to report no-knock warrant requests and what happened after no later than three months after the date the warrant was issued.

The latest data from the Department of Public Safety, albeit preliminary, shows that MPD applied for 17 no-knock warrants and one was denied.

Of the 16 that were approved by a judge, eight in fact were no-knocks, five were what's called knock and announce and three weren't executed. 

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