On February 2, a 22 year old Black American man was killed approximately 9 seconds after Minneapolis police entered the home on a no knock warrant. Amir Locke was murdered by SWAT raiders at about 6:48 am in a Minneapolis apartment. The police were investigating a homicide and were issued a no knock raid warrant to enter his home. Locke was not named in the warrant and did not have a criminal record. Police are trying to justify the shooting by stating that when he was sleeping he was holding a firearm, but it should be known that he had a permit stating he was legally allowed to own such weapons. Locke’s father spoke about him in a news conference sharing,
“Amir was a bright light, and he deserved to be able to shine.” The officer responsible for Amir Locke’s death is currently on a paid administrative leave. This killing has lead to an upset of people, with the incident happening in the same city and by the same police force that murdered George Floyd less than two years ago. Under the same hypermilierized no knock raid technique, Breonna Taylor was murdered. This raises questions towards how useful knock raids actually are.
No knock raids have become more common in America, even though it is one of the highest risk and lowest reward police force tactics. And these militarized tactics play a large role in the killings of countless Black Americans. Over 80% of no knock warrants have been found to be used against black and brown communities. And many people feel No knock raid warrants and the ability to enter a home without warning should not be allowed and should be a banned police tactic.
“In regards to the recent killing of Amir Locke, I don’t believe that No Knock warrants are as useful and justified as they are meant to be. I understand that there are some situations where No Knock warrants would be necessary, but in many cases they do more harm than good. Not only was Locke not mentioned in the warrant, but he was also killed while he was sleeping. Regardless of whether he was who they were looking for he was in no state to do them any harm in the first place. No Knock warrants are increasingly receiving a bad reputation and the best thing for the time being would most likely be to ban No Knock warrants until we solve the clear issues that are seen in them.” says San Marco ethics studies club member Zoe Javanbakht. The people of Minneapolis have been out in freezing weather protesting on account of “justice for Locke”.
These protesters are demanding the banning of no-knock warrants, justice for Amir Locke and ending police brutality. This incident has direct connections to the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and is continuing to prove that brutality towards Black Americans by police is still a major issue in America.