The same judge who presided over Derek Chauvin's trial signed the no-knock warrant that led to Amir Locke's death: report

2 years ago 1462
  • A 22-year-old Black man in Minnesota was fatally shot following a no-knock warrant. 
  • Sources told local outlets Judge Peter Cahill signed off on the warrant, which is currently sealed.
  • Cahill was the judge who presided over the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

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The same judge who presided over the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin signed the no-knock warrant that led to the fatal shooting of Amir Locke, several Minnesota outlets reported.

Sources told WCCO and KARE 11 that Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill approved the no-knock warrant that led to Locke's death. 

The warrant was tied to a St. Paul police homicide investigation and carried out by Minneapolis police.

WCCO reported St. Paul police said the warrant is under seal since it's part of an ongoing homicide investigation but sources familiar with the warrant told the outlet Cahill signed off on it. 

Additionally, KARE 11 reported the warrant was initially meant to be a "knock-and-announce" warrant and that St. Paul police asked the Minneapolis Police Department to help them carry out that warrant, but MPD insisted the warrant be changed to a no-knock warrant.

Locke, 22, died after MPD officers entered an apartment on Wednesday. Body camera footage from the scene showed Locke was asleep under a blanket on the couch when police entered. Police said he was holding a gun which was recovered from the scene. 

Moments later, three shots were fired at him by officer Mark Hanneman and Locke fell to the ground. WCCO reported Locke was legally permitted to carry the gun. 

Police said Locke was not the target of the warrant. It's not clear who the target is, but Fox9 reported a previous tenant of the apartment Locke was in had threatened police. 

Cahill was known for presiding over Chauvin's trial – the first one in Minneapolis history in which cameras were allowed into the courtroom for the duration of the proceedings. NBC News reported that Cahill, who previously served as a prosecutor and defense attorney, was thrust into the spotlight over the power he had to give Chauvin a sentence as light as probation or over 30 years in prison.

In April 2021, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black man. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years.

Hennepin County District Court spokesman Matt Lehman told Insider that Judge Cahill cannot comment on the warrant because the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from commenting on any case that has or may come before them.

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