Prosecutors announced Wednesday that they will not file charges against the Minneapolis police officer responsible for fatally shooting Amir Locke during a no-knock raid earlier this year.
Officer Mark Hanneman shot a sleeping Locke three times less than ten seconds after a SWAT team entered the apartment he was staying at. Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) were executing a no-knock search warrant as part of a homicide investigation from sister city St. Paul. According to interim Chief Amelia Huffman, Locke was not listed on the search warrant.
Locke was sleeping on the couch when officers entered on Feb. 2 and, according to released MPD body cam footage, attempted to sit up on a couch in his friend’s living room. The footage shows Locke’s body wrapped in a comforter with a gun is in his hand.
Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that they are declining to file criminal charges following a lengthy review of evidence.
“After a thorough review of all available evidence, however, there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case,” Attorney General Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Freeman said in a joint statement. “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.”
County Attorney Freeman and Attorney General Ellison said they met with the Locke family this morning and once again to “send their deepest condolences to them during this incredibly difficult time.”
In a statement, Locke’s attorneys said, “The tragic death of this young man, who was not named in the search warrant and had no criminal record, should never have happened.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced a ratified new policy for no-knock warrants yesterday. The new policy prohibits the application for, and execution of, all no-knock (unannounced) search warrants by the MPD.