No charges will be filed in the death of Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man who was shot by a SWAT team officer during a raid with a “no knock” warrant in Minneapolis in February, officials announced reports NBC News. Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement that after a “thorough review,” “there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case.”
Locke’s mother, Karen Wells, said after the decision was announced, “I am not disappointed — I am disgusted with the city of Minneapolis.”
The statement from Freeman and Ellison said the state would be unable to disprove “beyond a reasonable doubt” elements of Minnesota’s use-of-deadly-force statute that would have authorized use of force by Mark Hanneman, the officer who shot Locke. They also said the state would be unable 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.”
Locke was killed Feb. 2 after officers stormed into the apartment he was in and found him on the couch covered in a blanket. Minneapolis police said Hanneman opened fire after he saw the barrel of a gun come into view from under the blanket.
Locke was shot three times.
Freeman and Ellison said that under Minnesota law, peace officers are authorized to use deadly force in the line of duty to protect other officers or other peope from death or great bodily harm.
They said at a news conference after the announcement that Locke’s hand was seen holding a firearm, although his finger was not on the trigger, and that at one point it was pointed directly at Hanneman.
In the statement, they said Hanneman perceived the movements as a threat of death or great bodily harm.
Locke was not a suspect in the investigation connected to the search warrants. His death once again rocked Minneapolis, nearly two years after the killing of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.