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Search warrants released in police raid that led to Amir Locke's death

The warrant requests claimed no-knock entry was necessary for officer safety and "to decrease the risk for injuries to the suspects and other residents nearby."

MINNEAPOLIS — A Hennepin County judge has authorized the release of warrant documents connected to the investigation which led up to the shooting death of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police on Feb. 2.

The documents show both knock and no-knock warrants were issued for three units at Bolero Flats Apartments in downtown Minneapolis, in connection with the St. Paul police search for 17-year-old Mekhi Speed. SPPD consider Speed to be a suspect in the Jan. 10 shooting death of Otis Elder. An additional warrant was also signed for a separate apartment on Minnetonka Avenue.

The initial warrants for the Bolero Flats units, signed by Judge Peter Cahill on Jan. 31, called for a daytime search and did not request no-knock entry. 

Three additional warrants for the same units were later signed by Cahill on Feb. 1, authorizing a nighttime, no-knock entry, citing safety reasons and to preserve evidence. 

"The court further finds that no-knock entry, without announcement of authority or purpose is necessary to prevent the loss, destruction, or removal of the objects of said search or to protect the safety of the searchers or the public," the Feb. 1 warrants each state.

Sources previously told KARE 11 that Minneapolis police insisted on obtaining the no-knock warrants.

RELATED: St. Paul police did not request a 'no-knock' warrant in MPD raid that led to Amir Locke's death

The warrant requests specifically claimed that the suspects in the Jan. 10 homicide had used a .223 Caliber firearm, which uses "rounds (that) can penetrate police body armor." The warrant request claimed a "no-knock warrant enables officers to execute the warrant more safely by allowing officers to make entry into the apartment without alerting the suspects inside. This will not only increase officer safety, but it will also decrease the risk for injuries to the suspects and other residents nearby."

Body camera video released from the warrant search showed Locke was asleep on the couch in one of the units entered by police, and shot just seconds after police entered the apartment.

Nothing in the warrants suggests Amir Locke had anything to do with the shooting of Otis Elder, or had any knowledge of the shooting.

RELATED: KARE 11 Investigates: How a tragic chain of events led to Locke’s death

Attorneys for Amir Locke's family and community activists have called for an end to the use of no-knock warrants following Locke's death. The city of Minneapolis has placed a moratorium on no-knock warrants while officials review the policy.

Speed, who is a cousin of Amir Locke, was not present at any of the locations served by search warrants on Feb. 2. He was later arrested in Winona. Ramsey County prosecutors have filed a petition to have him charged as an adult on second-degree murder charges.

BELOW: Read the search warrant issued for the apartment unit in which Amir Locke was later killed:

More on the shooting of Amir Locke:

Watch more of KARE 11's reporting on the shooting of Amir Locke in this YouTube playlist:

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