February 4, 2022 Editor

Tragic: Minnesota National Guard Activated as Unrest Grows Over Police ‘Execution’ of Black Man

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a moratorium on no-knock warrants in a bid to defuse the situation. But protests were already set in motion.

photo above: Minneapolis PD

WN: Utterly predictable . . . Utterly tragic . . .


MINNEAPOLIS—Minnesota’s governor activated the National Guard late Friday as Minneapolis braced for unrest over the police killing of Amir Locke, a Black 22-year-old entrepreneur fatally shot when cops entered his apartment on a no-knock warrant.

A caravan of cars converged on the city, horns blaring, as part of a protest to demand action in the wake of Locke’s killing.

“This is something we see year after year. There’s no action at the state level, there’s no action at the city level. And there seems to be no sense of urgency,” state Senator Omar Fateh told The Daily Beast.

Fateh said he was attending Friday night’s protest because he was fed up to see nothing change after a string of recent police shootings in Minnesota.

“I’m hoping with this break-in and murder that we witnessed on camera, I hope we can at least ban no-knock warrants.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a moratorium on both the request of and execution of no-knock warrants late Friday “to ensure safety of both the public and officers until a new policy is crafted.” He also said the Minneapolis Police Department would team up with civil rights activist DeRay McKesson and Dr. Pete Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University to come up with ways to improve the no-knock warrants policy.

But that was no comfort for some who see Locke’s killing as a sign anybody could be gunned down by police if they look a certain way.

Locke had dreams of going into the music industry. He also had admiration and respect for law enforcement, according to his family.

But the young man with no criminal record had his dreams cut short when Minneapolis police officers charged into his home with a “no-knock” warrant on Wednesday. One officer fatally shot him while he was still wrapped in a blanket on a couch in an incident already drawing comparisons to the tragic 2020 slaying of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.

Locke’s Wednesday killing was just the latest example of police violence in a city that has been repeatedly thrust onto the national stage for gruesome lethal attacks by cops on Black men. Minneapolis was the site of weeks-long protests against racial injustice after the May 2020 death of George Floyd, who was murdered when former officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the unarmed Black man’s neck for over nine minutes despite pleas for air.

Locke appeared to be holding a gun when he was shot; his family has said he had a permit for the firearm. The warrant was issued in connection to a St. Paul homicide investigation, and it did not name Locke personally.

“I have cousins that are sheriffs in Chicago. I have a cousin that’s a federal law enforcement agent… He was Amir’s mentor. Amir didn’t deserve what happened,” Andre Locke, his father, said during a press conference on Friday. “My son Amir was a good kid.”

“It hurt me to see my son executed,” his father added, noting that Locke never got to see who “killed him.”

“He never even got the chance to get the cover off his head. He was startled. He did what any reasonable law-abiding citizen would do. White or Black.”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Friday concluded that Locke died from multiple gunshot wounds, and classified the cause of death as a homicide. The examiner, however, did note that the manner of death is not a “legal determination of culpability or intent.”

A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case previously told The Daily Beast that Locke was not the intended target of the investigation being carried out by police when they executed the search warrant just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Hanneman shot Locke three times, twice in the chest and once in the wrist. He has been placed on administrative leave.

“He was covered. He was asleep on his stomach. He was startled. And they took his life. He did what any reasonable, law-abiding citizen would do,” Andre Locke said Friday.

Please click on: Another Police ‘Execution’ of Black Man

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.