WASHINGTON — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) today introduced the Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act, which will establish strict limitations on the use of no-knock warrants in drug-related investigations. Locke (above right, with mother on the left) was killed, on Feb 2, while he was sleeping after being shot by a SWAT officer from the Minneapolis Police Department.
The legislation also bans quick-knock warrants, all nighttime warrants, as well as the use of flash-bang stun grenades, other explosive devices, chemical weapons, or any military-grade firearm. The introduction comes after the murder of Amir Locke, who was shot and killed by the Minneapolis Police Department while executing a no-knock warrant.
“Far too often, no-knock warrants and raids have severe and deadly consequences, resulting in property damage, trauma, and death,” said Rep. Omar. “It is unconscionable that no-knock warrants continue to be in effect with little to no restrictions, regulations, and regard for the impact on lives. These preventable tragedies result in mistrust and leave behind deep wounds for families and communities that have a long history of aggressive over-policing. Just this month, we saw the consequences of leaving deadly warrants in place with no accountability with the murder of Amir Locke, who became a victim of yet another botched no-knock warrant police raid. We have the power to save innocent lives with this legislation and must act.”
“The family of Amir Locke remains devastated by his senseless death, but we are very grateful to Representative Omar for introducing this legislation in the hopes that other families will not endure the same tragedy as ours,” said Karen Wells and Andre Locke, parents of Amir Locke. “While the Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act is not a complete ban, we support all efforts to restrict this dangerous and deadly practice to save even one other innocent life, and to hold law enforcement accountable when the service of warrants goes terribly wrong.”
“No-knock warrants and quick-knock raids are legacies of the racist drug war that need to end”, said Maritza Perez of the Drug Policy Alliance. “This bill is the most far-reaching bill Congress has ever introduced on this deadly and dangerous policing tactic and we are proud to support it.”
Rep. Omar was joined by Karen Wells, mother of Amir Locke; Andre Locke, father of Amir Locke; Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd; Brandon Williams, nephew of George Floyd; Katie Wright, mother of Daunte Wright, and Tuesday Sheppard, mother of Deshaun Hill Jr. on a press call Tuesday.
To see the bill text, click here.
The Amir Locke End No-Knock Warrants Act is cosponsored by Representatives Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D, André Carson, Troy A. Carter, Sr., Yvette D. Clarke, Danny K. Davis, Adriano Espaillat, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Al Green, Jahana Hayes, Pramila Jayapal, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Barbara Lee, Andy Levin, Grace Meng, Gwen Moore, Marie Newman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Ayanna Pressley, Bobby L. Rush, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Smith, Bennie G. Thompson, Ritchie Torres, Nydia M. Velazquez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Nikema Williams.
The bill is endorsed by the African Communities Together, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Campaign Zero, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Security, Race and Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Chilis on Wheels, Color Of Change, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Community Change Action, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress, Drug Policy Alliance, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), Global Witness, Incarcerated Nation Network INC, Japanese American Citizens League, Japanese American Citizens League – Twin Cities Chapter, March of Silence NYC, Minnesota Peace Project, MPower Action Fund, Muslim Advocates, National Action Network’s Washington Bureau, National Black Justice Coalition, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Education Association, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, Pillsbury United Communities, Poligon Education Fund, Project South, Rebuilding Independence My Style, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, Social Security Works, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), TakeAction Minnesota, The Advocates for Human Rights, The Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage, The Minnesota Justice Coalition, The Sikh Coalition, Thee Girls Academy, United for Peace and Justice, Until Freedom, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, Vegan Activist Alliance, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US, and Zero Hour.