Rioters in Minneapolis block streets, vandalize businesses, demand justice for Amir Locke

Minneapolis is once again ground zero for civil unrest Friday, as rioters, protesting the fatal shooting of Amir Locke by police serving a no-knock warrant, blocked traffic and vandalized buildings.

Fox9 News reported 50-100 “predominantly peaceful” protestors marched to the Minneapolis Police Department’s fifth precinct, carrying signs, shouting slogans, and spray painting buildings with Locke’s name and “DestroyMPD.” The crowd made their way down Lake Street, through the “LynLake” neighborhood, and ended up just 2 miles from the MPD’s third precinct, which was burned down during the George Floyd “mostly peaceful”  protests.

Images quickly spread to social media, where one user tweeted, “Here we go again…”

As BizPac Review reported, Amir Locke was asleep on a couch on Feb. 2, when, at 6:48 a.m., SWAT burst through the door shouting, “Police! Get on the ground!”

Body-cam footage revealed that a half-asleep and startled Locke, who was legally licensed to carry a firearm, instinctively grabbed his weapon, though his finger remained off the trigger. Seconds later, he was dead, shot multiple times by officers.

Locke was not named on the warrant.

Comparisons to Breonna Taylor, also fatally shot in a no-knock warrant, were immediately drawn.

“As #BreonnaTaylor showed us, no-knock warrants have deadly consequences for innocent law-abiding Black people!” tweeted Ben Crump following the incident.

“He was responsible, he didn’t deserve to have his life taken from him the way that it was,” said Amir Locke’s father, Andre Locke, at a widely-viewed press conference.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey responded with a moratorium on requesting and executing no-knock warrants, but the gesture appeared hollow to those who have heard it from Frey in the past.

The incident has sparked weeks of protests in the embattled city. More than 1,000 people marched for justice following Locke’s press conference, and, the next night, a 50-car convoy wound through the city, horns honking, and congregated outside the home of Minneapolis Police Department Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman, according to Fox News.

Things haven’t been easy for Huffman since the Locke shooting. She took the job of interim chief just weeks before the incident, and was thrown into a firestorm that began 20 months ago with the death of George Floyd.

Activists, such as Nekima Levy Armstrong, aren’t going easy on her.

Yahoo! News reported that, at a news conference in which Huffman was fielding questions about Locke, Armstrong challenged claims by police that Locke pointed his gun at the officers.

“This is what I would call the anatomy of a cover-up,” Armstrong stated. “Amelia, you’re saying you want to be the chief. The act like it. … Don’t cover up for what those cops did.”

With tensions high, the latest destructive march is stressing the city to the brink.

Barricades and bike racks littered the street following Friday’s protests, and graffiti marred the buildings before the frustrated, angry activists disbanded, as calls for a meaningful discussion about race and the Second Amendment are raised.

“It’s been long understood by experts that American gun rights cannot be separated from race, and they say the country’s history of criminalizing Blackness creates implicit biases against African Americans who are exercising their Second Amendment rights,” writes USA Today.

Regardless of political affiliations, it’s becoming more clear that it’s a conversation Minneapolis will need to have if the city is ever to see any peace.


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Melissa Fine


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