Prosecutors will not file charges against the police officers involved in the shooting death of Amir Locke.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) and Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman announced the decision Wednesday morning after scrutinizing the officers’ actions.
Locke was shot and killed early on the morning of Feb. 2, seconds after a Minneapolis Police Department SWAT team entered the apartment Locke was staying in as part of a homicide investigation originating in neighboring St. Paul.
St. Paul’s KSTP reports:
The news comes just a week after the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office received the case from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The attorney’s office cited “insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges” and said prosecutors “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.”
The SWAT team was executing a no-knock warrant. Locke’s name wasn’t in the search warrant. SWAT officers were looking for Locke’s cousin, Mekhi Speed, a suspect in the St. Paul homicide.
Locke had legally obtained a concealed carry permit for self-defense with violent crime rising in Minneapolis. Abruptly awoken by the disturbance, Locke began to sit up with his gun in his hand. An officer shot him three times.
Despite declining to file charges, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and Minnesota Attorney General’s Office both released statements Wednesday morning saying Locke “should be alive today, and his death is a tragedy.” The offices also said Locke may be alive if a no-knock warrant wasn’t used and called the warrants “highly risky,” adding that they “pose significant dangers to both law enforcement and the public.”
Minneapolis’s KARE 11 has more on the fallout from the shooting:
Locke’s death triggered an uproar across the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota, with activists calling the fatal shooting an act of murder. Locke’s parents and their legal team called for an end to no-knock warrants in the city, and said the incident was proof that the culture of the police department has not changed since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of then-officer Derek Chauvin.
So, what do you think? Should no-knock warrants be abolished? As always, tell us in the comments below!