Minneapolis prosecutors announced Wednesday that there will be no justice for Amir Locke.
The prosecutors effectively made clear, just as Louisville, Kentucky, authorities did in the case of Breonna Taylor, that a cop isn’t responsible for wrongdoing so long as they can say they were on the job and in fear for their lives.
Amir’s fear doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that Locke was sleeping when cops burst through the door in service of a warrant the 22-year-old wasn’t named in. It doesn’t matter that the gun Locke was holding was one he owned legally—which gave him a right to protect himself with it—when Officer Mark Hanneman shot him to death for holding it. Amir’s Black life didn’t matter.
According to the New York Times, prosecutors “said they would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer had committed a crime in violation of Minnesota law that allows officers to use deadly force in certain situations.”
In announcing no charges will be filed against Hanneman, who was placed on administrative leave after the shooting but has since resumed his normal duties, Minnesota and Hennepin County officials did make a show of assuring citizens that they’re still really sorry about Locke’s killing.
“Amir Locke’s life mattered,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman, said in a joint statement. “He was a young man with plans to move to Dallas, where he would be closer to his mom and—he hoped—build a career as a hip-hop artist, following in the musical steps of his father.”
During a Wednesday news conference, Ellison addressed authorities initially referring to Locke as a suspect in the raid when he wasn’t one.
“Amir Locke was a victim,” he said. “He never should have been called a suspect.”
Ellison also urged Minnesota citizens—who live in this region where George Floyd was murdered and where Daunte Wright received bare minimum justice for his killing via cop—not to lose hope because things are improving.
“The problems involving policing and communities of color in Minneapolis are longstanding, and everyone knows it, yet it feels like nothing is ever done about it,” Ellis said—after announcing that nothing would be done about Locke’s killing.
“This is not the time for people to feel like there’s no hope,” he continued. “There is. People should carry forward and continue to try to make the system one we can all be proud of.”
Meanwhile, Locke’s family has hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump to assist them in filing a lawsuit against the city and to push the city to make changes to its Police Department.