Following the police killing of Amir Locke, the ACLU of Minnesota releases this statement:
“It is the duty of police to deescalate situations, and the ACLU of Minnesota is alarmed that MPD clearly failed in its duty in the police killing of Amir Locke. Bodycam footage clearly shows that police failed to ask Amir Locke to drop the gun, to warn that they’d shoot, or to take any other actions available to them while they were executing a search warrant. Instead, an officer chose to shoot a kill a man sleeping on a couch, who was still wrapped up in a blanket, within 9 seconds of entering an apartment. A search warrant should not be an execution. Police should not be the judge, jury, and executioner.
“In light of this killing, the ACLU of Minnesota renews its call for a statewide ban of no-knock warrants, which are inherently and unnecessarily dangerous. Too often, these warrants lead to injury and even death, as in the case of the police killings of Mr. Locke and Breonna Taylor. Banning these warrants is an important step in addressing police abuse of power and excessive force against Black people.
“The ACLU-MN questions why MPD insisted upon a no-knock search warrant in this case, when the originating agency for the search, Saint Paul Police, did not reportedly feel one was necessary. MPD must release the search warrant application, make it clear why they escalated to a no-knock warrant, and disclose who approved the no-knock search and why. MPD should also explain why they’d already asked for 90 such warrants less than a year later, according to MinnPost, after passing a policy that supposedly restricted them.
“The ACLU-MN calls on MPD to release bodycam footage from the officer who killed Mr. Locke. The city of Minneapolis’ partial release of bodycam footage does not provide nearly enough transparency. The city’s lack of transparency leaves too many unanswered questions for Amir Locke’s family and the community.
“Minneapolis police and other law enforcement assaulted and arrested protesters and media members during the George Floyd and Daunte Wright protests. We demand that police use restraint in its treatment of protesters and journalists in any protests that result from the killing of Amir Locke.
“Amir Locke should still be alive today.”