Too little, too late…
If Minneapolis police were as competent as they are trifling and trigger-happy, Amir Locke would still be alive. The Star Tribune reports that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a moratorium on no-knock warrants after the fatal police shooting of Amir during a raid.
“No matter what information comes to light, it won’t change the fact that Amir Locke’s life was cut short. To ensure safety of both the public and officers until a new policy is crafted, I’m issuing a moratorium on both the request and execution of such warrants in Minneapolis,” Frey said in a statement.
Minneapolis already banned the use of these warrants in 2020 in response to George Floyd’s killing, but the practice continued with a loophole allowing the raids for “exigent circumstances.” Neighboring St. Paul police originally requested a standard search warrant for a homicide investigation, but a law enforcement source claims MPD refused to conduct the search unless St. Paul submitted another request for a SWAT raid instead.
Apparently, Minneapolis cops have cooked up plenty of “exigent circumstances” to exploit the loophole in the 2020 ban. According to the Star Tribune, over half of the 25 search warrants obtained just in 2022 were for no-knock or nighttime surprise raids. MPD cops previously executed an average of 139 no-knock warrants a year.
The moratorium will continue pending a review of Minneapolis Police Department policy by Eastern Kentucky University’s Prof. Pete Kraska and celebrity activist DeRay Mckesson, who is also a former Minneapolis Public Schools official. They previously worked together to shape Breonna’s Law in Louisville to ban the no-knock warrants after police similarly ambushed Breonna Taylor and killed the 26-year-old while raiding the wrong home.
Amir’s parents told CNN’s Don Lemon they raised their son to do everything in his power to avoid their worst fear: a deadly run-in with police.
“We’ve been prepping our boys for years to always obey the law. Every day. It’s not a regular conversation that some White households have.”
MPD claims that the 22-year-old was allegedly armed at the time of the shooting, although he was asleep when they entered the apartment, which was another nightmare come true. Karen Wells said that she was proud that her son went above and beyond to be a responsible licensed gun owner, but it only made her more scared that her son would be the next victim of police brutality.
“I actually worried about him encountering the police. And not the way that he encountered them on February 2nd, but just, like, if he had his weapon, if he ever got stopped and pulled over on the side of the road. … My fears have always been something that dealt with the police department,” she said.
No amount of preparation could anticipate the overwhelming negligence of a police department that demands high-risk no-knock operations after they have been banned, swarm into an apartment they don’t have a warrant or cause to search and then shoot someone they find sleeping. Amir wasn’t even a resident at the apartment where the pre-dawn raid took place. He was simply visiting, which is why he was asleep on the couch when police surrounded him.
Amir’s death from a warrant that was already banned in Minneapolis proves that reform isn’t enough without real consequences for killer cops. Doing everything right like the Locke family is not enough when these violent criminals with badges consistently get away with doing everything wrong and exploiting legal loopholes.