'Insufficient Admissible Evidence' in Amir Locke's Death

Officer who shot and killed 22-year-old won't be charged
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2022 11:22 AM CDT
No Charges for Cop Who Fatally Shot Amir Locke
A protester holds a sign demanding justice for Amir Locke at a rally on Feb. 5, 2022, in Minneapolis.   (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa, File)

A Minneapolis SWAT team entered an apartment on a no-knock warrant about 6:48am on Feb. 2, and in less than 10 seconds, 22-year-old Amir Locke had been fatally shot. Prosecutors on Wednesday announced Mark Hanneman, the 34-year-old police officer who killed Locke, will not be charged. "After a thorough review of all available evidence ... there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement, per the Star Tribune. Video from the scene showed officers entering the apartment while calling out "Search warrant!" Locke was on a couch with a blanket and his gun.

Locke wasn't connected to the warrant, but Freeman and Ellison's statement said the gun was "raised ... in the direction of Officer Hanneman," which "constitutes a specifically articulable threat ... and to which the officers had to respond without delay." The statement also discusses the specifics of the decision, Locke and his family, and the no-knock warrant; the use of such warrants were sharply curtailed in the city this week. Three standout portions, per the Star Tribune and CNN:

  • "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."
  • "Amir Locke's life mattered. 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 footsteps of his father."
  • "Amir Locke is a victim. This tragedy may not have occurred absent the no-knock warrant used in this case. County Attorney Freeman and Attorney General Ellison met with the Locke family this morning and once again send their deepest condolences to them during this incredibly difficult time."
(More Amir Locke stories.)

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