Locke was shot during a no-knock raid in Minnesota in February while spending the night on a friend’s couch.
Just over two months after a member of the Minneapolis Police SWAT team shot and killed 22-year-old Amir Locke during a no-knock raid in a downtown apartment building, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that they would not press any charges against the police officer who fired the fatal shot.
In a press release issued Wednesday morning, Freeman and Ellison concluded that “there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case,” and that “the state would be unable to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of Minnesota’s use-of-deadly-force statute that authorizes the use of force by [Minneapolis Police] Officer [Mark] Hanneman.”
“Amir Locke’s life mattered,” the pair stressed. “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 footsteps of his father.”
“He should be alive today, and his death is a tragedy,” they continued. “Amir Locke was not a suspect in the underlying St. Paul criminal investigation nor was he named in the search warrants. Amir Locke is a victim.”
Locke was shot and killed in February, when he was awoken by a no-knock raid as he slept on a friend’s sofa. He was not a suspect or being sought after by police in connection to the warrant that led cops to the apartment. Body camera footage provided by the city of Minneapolis showed Locke sit upright grasping a pistol, and then fall backwards as police officers open fire on him less than 10 seconds after they entered the apartment unit. Locke’s death prompted waves of protests across the Twin Cities, just two years after the police killing of George Floyd turned Minneapolis into a flashpoint in the struggle for social justice.
Following Locke’s death, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) vowed to ban the sort of no-knock warrant raids that led to the shooting, despite having been re-elected months earlier on the promise of having already banned the practice.