Skip to main content

Amir Locke's family said they are "deeply disappointed" no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the 22-year-old's police killing.

"No family should ever suffer like Amir’s again," they said in a statement released through attorney Ben Crump Wednesday, shortly after the Hennepin Count Attorney's Office and Minnesota Attorney General announced SWAT officer Mark Hanneman will not be criminally charged for fatally shooting Locke.

Read more: No criminal charges in police killing of Amir Locke

Locke's mother, Karen Wells, also spoke during a press conference Wednesday, alongside Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton.

"Once again Minneapolis, you're showing your true colors of actually who you are and who you represent," Wells said, referring to Hanneman as the Minneapolis police officer who "executed" her child. 

Locke had been driving for food delivery services, and legally purchased a gun to "protect himself from all the crime that is out of control, Mayor Frey, the mayor of Minneapolis, that you can't control," Wells said, later suggesting that he son's Second Amendment rights were brushed aside because he was Black. 

She also accused the SWAT team of not attempting to deescalate the situation before firing shots.

"I am not disappointed, I am disgusted with the City of Minneapolis. Very disgusted. I'm to the point where I want to take back the residency of both my sons from that city. ... I don't want him to be remembered for a city that we embraced and raised our children in, and then you decided in less than 9 seconds to take my baby's life?"

"That's not fair. It's not fair that I had to go and pick up ashes of my baby from my niece because I was too distraught to pick his ashes up. Did you think I was going to bury my son in the ground of the place that murdered him? No."

Sharpton said they're going to call on the Department of Justice to launch a federal investigation into Locke's case.

Locke was killed around 6:45 a.m. on Feb. 2, while at an apartment in the Bolero Flats building in downtown Minneapolis that was the subject of a search warrant. He'd been sleeping on the couch in the living room when a SWAT team opened the door then, after entering, began yelling, "Police search warrant!"

Bodycam footage shows Locke mostly under a blanket and holding a gun. Officers can be heard yelling "Hands!' and "Get on the ground!" Hanneman then shoots Locke three times from a few feet away.

In announcing their decision not to file criminal charges, the offices said there is "not sufficient admissible evidence to support a criminal charge," as Locke's behavior constituted " a specifically articulable threat" to the SWAT officers. Meaning it was reasonable to perceive "an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm."

The search warrants were executed in connection with a St. Paul homicide, and identified the apartment as one of three in the building connected to a juvenile suspect who is Locke's cousin. But Locke himself wasn't considered a suspect, wasn't involved in the crime and wasn't even named in the search warrant applications.

Attorney General Keith Ellison acknowledged as much during prepared statements Wednesday, saying: 

"One thing Amir was not: Amir was not a suspect. Our investigation found no evidence that he had any role in the homicide investigation that brought police to his door on 6:48 am on February 2. Amir was a victim. He never should have been called a suspect."

He also called on local leaders to revisit no-knock search warrant policies (which Minneapolis has done, with new restrictions set to take effect Friday), urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and said Minneapolis leaders "need to get serious about" addressing in-custody police deaths.

"The problems involving policing and communities of color in Minneapolis are long-standing and everyone knows it — yet it feels like nothing is ever done about it," Ellison said.

Locke's family said his death "should never have happened."

"The family and its legal team are firmly committed to their continued fight for justice in the civil court system, in fiercely advocating for the passage of local and national legislation, and taking every other step necessary to ensure accountability for all those responsible for needlessly cutting Amir’s life far too short," their statement reads. "Today only deepens the resolve of Amir’s family and its legal team. We hope this deepens the resolve of the community at large as well. This is only the latest reminder that we must work even harder to protect and obtain equal justice and accountability for our communities of color."

Next Up

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.


Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.


Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.


Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.


Amir Locke 1 crop

Hennepin attorney, AG will review Locke shooting for possible charges

Locke was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer Wednesday morning.

Amir Locke 1 crop

No criminal charges in police killing of Amir Locke

Prosecutors said there is "insufficient admissible evidence" to prove wrongdoing.

Amir Locke no-knock warrant

Amir Locke shooting: Court docs reveal police argument for no-knock raid

The previously sealed documents were made public Thursday.

Amir Locke 1 crop

Amir Locke killing: County attorney now reviewing for possible charges

The 22-year-old was killed by a Minneapolis police officer nearly 8 weeks ago.

Amir Locke 1 crop

Court documents reveal more details about SWAT raid that killed Amir Locke

Documents explain how investigators traced a murder suspect to the Bolero Flats apartment building.

frey feb 7 committee screengrab

Frey's explanation over Minneapolis' no-knock policy under scrutiny

They're working to answer questions about what was — and wasn't —banned.

Screen Shot 2022-02-03 at 7.01.05 PM

Amir Locke police shooting: What we do and don't know 2 days later

Many details remain opaque and many questions remain unanswered. Here's what we do know.