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US students hold walk-out march in Minnesota to protest Amir Locke police shooting

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of downtown Minneapolis demanding justice in the fatal police shooting of a young Black man, Amir Locke, during a "no-knock" raid on his apartment earlier this week.

At least 500 demonstrators rallied at Government Plaza in Minnesota's largest city on Saturday (February 5) three days after Locke, 22, was shot on his couch by police.

The crowd assembled in below-freezing temperatures, demanding an unconditional ban on no-knock warrants, the dismissal and arrest of officers involved in the shooting, and the resignation of the mayor and police chief.

The day after the killing, police released video footage from the raid, which showed Locke was holding a gun as he twisted beneath a blanket on his sofa after being roused by officers moments before he was slain.

Police have said the officers were exercising a "no-knock" search warrant, which authorizes police to enter private property without first alerting occupants or announcing their presence.

The warrant was issued in relation to a homicide probe led by detectives from the neighboring Saint Paul Police Department. Locke was not named in the warrant, and Minneapolis police have acknowledged it was unclear how or whether he was connected to that investigation.

On Thursday (February 3), interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman told a news conference the county attorney's office was reviewing the shooting, and that video from the incident appeared to show Locke's gun pointed toward officers when they opened fire.

Activists at the protest said Locke had a right to possess a weapon in his own home and was never given the chance to disarm himself in the chaotic moments as police stormed into his apartment without warning.

(Source: AFP)

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