Officer Who Fatally Shot Amir Locke Won't Be Charged


Photo: Karen Wells via StarTribute

Minnesota prosecutors are declining to file criminal charges against the officer who shot and killed Amir Locke while executing a no-knock warrant.

On Wednesday (April 6), Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement that after a "thorough review" of the fatal incident "there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case.”

Officer Mark Hanneman fatally shot Locke in February after he raided the Minnesota apartment where the 22-year-old Black man was sleeping. Minneapolis police said Hanneham fired shots after Locke grabbed a gun when waking up to the officer storming in.

Minnesota officials added in their statement that any officer in Hanneman's position would have perceived an “immediate threat of death or great bodily harm that was reasonably likely to occur, and an objectively reasonable officer would not delay in using deadly force.”

Locke's name wasn't on the original search warrant that led Hanneman to storm into the Minnesota apartment. However, the Hennepin County attorney's office said on Wednesday that it wasn't their job to determine whether no-knock warrants are justified.

“[Locke] should be alive today, and his death is a tragedy. Amir Locke was not a suspect in the underlying Saint Paul criminal investigation nor was he named in the search warrants." The office added, "Amir Locke is a victim. This tragedy may not have occurred absent the no-knock warrant used in this case.”

On Wednesday morning, the county and state attorneys met with Locke’s family to give their condolences again before making the announcement that Hanneman wouldn't face charges.

Locke's family has led community protests calling to end no-knock warrants. At the time of his death, the family vowed to get justice and said the Minnesota officer should "pay" for "executing" Locke.

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