The Crusader Newspaper Group

No criminal charges in police shooting of Amir Locke

Mark Hanneman, the Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Amir Locke on February 2, will not be charged with a crime, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday, April 6.

A joint statement from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and Minnesota Attorney General’s Office stated, “there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case” after “a thorough review of all available evidence.”

“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,” the statement reads. “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.”

Hanneman shot Locke, 22 during a no-knock raid at a Minneapolis apartment on February 2. Locke’s name wasn’t included in the warrant, which didn’t require police to knock before they entered the property.

Bodycam video of the shooting shows an officer quietly sliding a key into the apartment’s door before several officers barge in yelling commands. Locke, who appeared to be sleeping on a sofa, rises from under a blanket holding a gun that his family said he legally owned.

Three gunshots from Hanneman are heard before the video ends.

Locke was struck twice in the chest and once in the wrist before he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Locke did not live in the apartment where he was fatally shot. The apartment was rented by the girlfriend of the older brother of Mekhi Speed, a suspect in the St. Paul homicide investigation. Speed and his mother, Cheryl Locke, lived in another apartment in the same building, which police also searched in coordinated raids around the same time.

Locke was initially identified as a suspect, but police later said that was incorrect. Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman blamed a lack of information in the immediate aftermath of the shooting for the mistake.

Locke’s parents accused the police department of trying to smear the reputation of their son, who was licensed to carry a firearm.

The shooting sparked protests in Minneapolis and renewed calls to end no-knock warrants, which led to the shooting death of Brianna Taylor in 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.

A day before the announcement of no charges against Hanneman, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced that the city’s police officers can no longer apply for or execute unannounced search warrants, even when assisting other law enforcement agencies. Officers serving a warrant must announce their presence and then wait 20 seconds during the daytime, or 30 seconds at night, before entering, unless under “exigent circumstances.” The policy defines “exigent circumstances” as when in hot pursuit, to prevent imminent harm or provide emergency aid, to prevent imminent destruction or removal of evidence, and to prevent the imminent escape of a suspect.

All bodycam footage from the officers who raided the apartment when Locke was shot will be released later Wednesday, the attorneys said. They noted that it shows Locke’s gun was pointed in the direction of Hanneman, but his finger wasn’t on the trigger.

Recent News

Scroll to Top