A member of a SWAT Team who shot and killed Amir Locke during a raid on a residence will not face charges, according to Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) and Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman.
“Amir Locke’s life mattered,” Ellison and Freeman said Wednesday in a joint statement. “He was a young man with plans to move to Dallas, where he would be closer to his mom and – he hoped – build a career as a hip-hop artist, following in the musical steps of his father.”
Body-worn camera footage supported a press release issued by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) after the shooting, which noted that Locke drew a gun on Officer Mark Hanneman as Hanneman approached.
“At approximately 6:48 a.m., the Minneapolis Police SWAT Team was executing a warrant for the Saint Paul Police Department Homicide unit on the 1100 block of Marquette Ave. South,” the release said. “Officers gained entry to the target apartment on the seventh floor, loudly and repeatedly announced their presence, crossed the threshold of the apartment, and advanced with continued loud announcements of their presence.
“Approximately 9 seconds into the entry, officers encountered a male who was armed with a handgun pointed in the direction of officers,” the release continued. “At one point, shots were fired, and the adult male suspect was struck. Officers immediately provided emergency aid and carried the suspect down to the lobby to meet paramedics.”
Ellison seemed disappointed with his own decision, bashing the police just after deciding that the police did nothing wrong during the raid.
“The problems involving policing and communities of color in Minneapolis are longstanding, and everyone knows it, yet it feels like nothing is ever done about it,” he said in the statement. “This is not the time for people to feel like there’s no hope. There is. People should carry forward and continue to try to make the system one we can all be proud of.”
Ellison’s office could not be reached for comment
Karen Wells, Locke’s mother, said the police were guilty.
“You are guilty. continue to have your restless nights, because I know you do. You were probably restless before they decided to not charge you today,” she said in a press conference, standing next to known race hustler Al Sharpton. “But you’re going to continue to be restless, because the spirit of my baby is going to haunt you for the rest of your life. I am not disappointed, I am disgusted with the city of Minneapolis.”
Minneapolis paused the practice of no-knock warrants after Locke’s death. It was later revealed that Locke was not the target of the search warrant. His cousin, 17-year-old Mekhi Speed, was arrested in the raid and charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a St. Paul man.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s office did not return a comment request.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Background photo “Hennepin County courthouse” by City of Minneapolis Archives CC BY 2.0.