The Wrongful Death of Amir Locke

Americans have continuously had to bear witness to senseless killings towards black men and women by society and law enforcement for as long as they have been reported.

Duante Wright, a 20 year-old Black man, was killed during a traffic stop after Minneapolis officer Kimberly Porter mistook her gun for a taser. Stephon Clark, a 22 year-old Black man, was shot at more than twenty times as officers mistook his phone for a gun. Atatiana Jefferson, a 28 year-old Black woman, was shot through her bedroom window in the presence of her eight year-old nephew after officers responded to a call saying her front door was left open.

These are only a few of the Black people killed by authority figures that were supposed to help and protect us. As more senseless killings of black people continue to occur around the world,  it is imperative Americans help raise awareness and attention to these issues to keep its citizens safe.

The Minneapolis police department has gotten themselves put under investigation once again. Less than two years ago, George Floyd was suffocated to death in Minneapolis by law enforcement, which resulted in four ex-police officers being charged for his wrongful death. With the tragic growing legacy of the Minneapolis Police Department, many question as to what it is Minneapolis police cannot get right when it comes to protecting black lives. Protests in Minneapolis have started to take over many streets following the death of Amir Locke. 

Amir Locke, a 22 year old black man was fatally shot in his own home as SWAT was executing a no-knock-warrant. Locke’s mother, Karen Wells, said in a statement to AP News, “My son was executed on 2/2 of 22, and now his dreams have been destroyed.” 

Bodycam footage shows officers were in the apartment less than ten seconds before Amir was shot. At 7:01 am, Locke was pronounced dead, after only 13 minutes of SWAT entering the apartment. 

Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman claims officer Mark Hanneman was in a difficult position. In a press conference Huffman stated, “The still shot shows the image of the firearm in the subject’s hands, at the best possible moment when the lighting was fully on him. That’s the moment when the officer had to make a split-second decision to assess the circumstances and to determine whether he felt like there was an articulable threat, that the threat was of imminent harm, great bodily harm or death, and that he needed to take action right then to protect himself and his partners.”

An officer from the department said Locke pointed a loaded gun “in the direction of officers,” bodycam footage shows Locke’s firearm does not appear to be pointed at officers. The gun was pointed towards the floor and it shows his finger was not on the trigger, but on the side of the barrel. 

“This is unacceptable,” said Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney. “This is what I would call the anatomy of a cover-up.”

Residents of Minneapolis and all around the world are calling for the ban on no-knock-warrants. It has come to the light by Bring Me The News that the St. Paul Police Department only requested that standard warrant but Minneapolis Police insisted and really pushed for the no-knock-warrant. 

There are a staggering 20,000 or more estimated no-knock raids every year across America. By the numbers, it’s clear that no-knock SWAT raids are far more dangerous to civilians than they are to police,” as said by Vox