Minnesota prosecutors announced today that no charges will be filed against the officers who killed Amir Locke, during a no-knock raid when Locke was shot dead as he awoke from sleeping.
Amir Locke shown here sleeping with police guns aimed at him.
In a joint released statement from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and Minnesota Attorney General’s Office they state:
“There is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case” after “a thorough review of all available evidence. Specifically, 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 Officer Hanneman…Nor would the State be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a criminal charge against any other officer involved in the decision-making that led to the death of Amir Locke.” The statement also said: Locke “should be alive today, and his death is a tragedy.”
The prosecutors also criticized no-knock warrants calling them “highly risky,” and adding that they “pose significant dangers to both law enforcement and the public. Local, state, and federal policy makers should seriously weigh the benefits of no-knock warrants.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Minnesota AG Keith Ellison.
Following the announcement, the following joint statement was released by the National Action Network and the office of civil rights attorney Ben Crump:
“Karen Wells, the mother of Amir Locke, will join with Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump in New York City this afternoon to address the decision to not prosecute the police officer who killed her son during a no-knock raid in February.
“Earlier today, state and local prosecutors in Minnesota announced they would not criminally charge the SWAT team officer who fatally shot Locke on Feb. 2. Locke, 22, was not the subject of a police investigation when officers shot him. This comes on the heels of a police reform panel that Crump moderated earlier in the day, which featured Ms. Wells as well as relatives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and Botham Jean.”
Crump, along with attorneys Jeff Storms and Antonio Romanucci released the following statement on the decision:
“The family of Amir Locke is deeply disappointed by the decision not to criminally charge Minneapolis Police Officer Mark Hanneman. The tragic death of this young man, who was not named in the search warrant and had no criminal record, should never have happened. The family and its legal team are firmly committed to their continued fight for justice in the civil court system, in fiercely advocating for the passage of local and national legislation, and taking every other step necessary to ensure accountability for all those responsible for needlessly cutting Amir’s life far too short.
“Today only deepens the resolve of Amir’s family and its legal team. We hope this deepens the resolve of the community at large as well. This is only the latest reminder that we must work even harder to protect and obtain equal justice and accountability for our communities of color. No family should ever suffer like Amir’s again.”