Amir Locke death


Photo courtesy ABC News

   On February 2nd, a 22-year-old Black man named Amir Locke was killed by Minneapolis police. Early in the morning, police raided Amir Locke’s apartment by bursting through his door. As Amir was asleep underneath a blanket on the couch, he was suddenly awakened and seen to be holding a gun. Shots were then fired by the SWAT team, shooting and killing him. 

   The Minneapolis police allegedly had a search warrant, however, Locke’s name was not mentioned in the warrant. In addition, Amir Locke was in legal possession of his firearm and was therefore not doing anything illegal. 

   The city has released 14 seconds of video from one body camera of an officer displaying police entering the apartment and shooting Locke. Due to the lack of footage, it is not clear how the police reacted before approaching the apartment or after. The reports of an arrest and a charge in connection to the search warrants were for Amir’s cousin who lived in the apartment. The family of Locke released a statement on February 8th that included, “We must remain focused on the fact that Amir was an innocent young man of a raid gone terribly wrong, who is now the latest statistic and victim of the dangerous and intrusive no-knock warrant techniques that must be banned.”

   According to the police department, after being shot by Officer Mark Hanneman, Locke was carried down to paramedics and given aid but died at the Hennepin County Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds. Hanneman has currently been placed on administrative leave, as in compliance with the policy. 

    The police chief of Minneapolis said a knock and no-knock search warrant were obtained for three locations inside the building where Amir Locke was shot. This brings more attention to the controversy of misuses of no-knock search warrants, and even more attention to the Minneapolis department which has faced previous criticism after the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020. The mayor of Minneapolis announced two days after that he was temporarily banning no-knock warrants, yet it still allows for no-knock warrants in certain situations. 

   The homicide is currently under investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Investigation, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison who have vowed to conduct a fair investigation. Locke’s family and friends continue to mourn the death of their lost loved one. Protests have erupted and a group of protesters is now calling for the resignation of the Minneapolis police chief.