Minnesota man killed in no-knock warrant


(AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

A protester holds a sign demanding justice for Amir Locke at a rally on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Minneapolis. Hundreds of people filled the streets of downtown Minneapolis after body cam footage released by the Minneapolis Police Department showed an officer shoot and kill Locke during a no-knock warrant.

Patrick Kane, World News Editor

In the early hours of Feb. 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MPD served a no-knock warrant (related to a recent murder) at an apartment containing Amir Locke, a 22-year-old African American man. The raid resulted in the death of Locke. According to the body cam footage, Locke was sleeping on a couch holding a handgun when police officers came into the apartment, identifying themselves. Locke proceeded to wake and was promptly shot dead within nine seconds. 

Locke legally owned the firearm, as he felt he needed it for protection while at his job as a DoorDash driver. Additionally, it was revealed that Locke himself had nothing to do with the murder being investigated. The MPD stated that the no-knock raid was conducted in order to “increase officer safety.”

Naturally, this shooting has prompted much controversy, chiefly due to the similarities to the shooting of Breonna Taylor (a Kentucky woman who was also killed in a no-knock raid) in the city still healing from the murder of George Floyd. Demonstrators gathered in downtown Minneapolis in protest of the killing, with several demanding the resignation of interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman. 

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is contemplating charges against the SWAT officer who shot Locke, Mark Hanneman. Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct Review is reviewing the city’s no-knock warrant policy (similar to what Louisville did after the Breonna Taylor shooting).

Locke’s funeral will be held on Feb. 17 in Minneapolis. The service will be presided by Rev. Al Sharpton.

Elizabeth Stiles, professor of political science at John Carroll University and advisor to the Pre-Law Society, offered input concerning the legality surrounding the incident. “Amir was a gun owner and had legal possession of his firearm. The police shot him within 10 seconds of entering the dwelling when he got up from the couch where he had been sleeping and was holding his gun.

So one legal issue is the no-knock warrant…The issue is difficult to study systematically because there isn’t necessarily data or written records about no-knock warrants depending on the jurisdiction.”

“More broadly, the 4th amendment of the Constitution is a protection against unreasonable search and seizure. In Wilson v. Arkansas (1995), the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment requires police officers to knock before entering your home and identify themselves before attempting forcible entry. But they also ruled that reasonableness is a flexible requirement and so should be balanced with law enforcement interests (for example to gather and preserve evidence)…In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled in another case that a no-knock warrant does not violate the 4th amendment if the police had a reasonable suspicion that the suspect would try to destroy evidence.”

Patrick Kane is a junior from Lakewood, Ohio and the World News Editor. He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter at @therealpatkane, or on Instagram at pkdonuts5.