At a news conference in New York on Wednesday, Karen Wells, Mr Locke’s mother, stood next to Mr Crump and the Reverend Al Sharpton and addressed the officer who killed her son: “My baby’s spirit will haunt you. for the rest of your life.”
She also made pointed remarks to Mayor Jacob Frey, about his handling of the department and the rise in violent crime in the city, which she said led to Mr Locke getting a gun to protect himself.
“My son was protecting himself, thinking he had to protect himself from all the crimes that are out of control, Mayor Frey, the mayor of Minneapolis, that you can’t control,” she said. “So my son decided that if he was going to go back and forth and do Instacart and DoorDash, he had to bear arms, legally.”
That Mr. Locke was killed while officers were using a no-knock warrant, a law enforcement tactic that was heavily criticized following the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., in 2020 in a botched raid, only added to the anger in Minneapolis.
Mr Frey had previously restricted the use of no-knock warrants, but Mr Locke’s murder sparked accusations that the mayor had misled the public during his campaign for re-election last year when he claimed to have banned such mandates. In response to the murder of Mr Locke, the mayor issued a new policy this week, which bans no-knock warrants and requires officers to knock and announce their presence, then wait before entering a building .
“This policy is one of the most forward-thinking and comprehensive in the country, and will help keep our residents and officers safe,” Frey said in a statement.
Just as Mr. Wright was killed in the trial last year of Derek Chauvin, the officer who was convicted of murdering Mr. Floyd, the murder of Mr. Locke happened during a federal trial in St. Paul, Minnesota, for the three other officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death. These three officers were all found guilty of violating Mr. Floyd’s constitutional rights.