Andre Locke, the father of Amir Locke, testified in front of the Minnesota House of Representatives Safety Finance and Policy Committee on Wednesday to support a bill banning no-knock warrants. It was a no-knock warrant that led to the death of his son.
No-knock warrants have been under intense scrutiny nationwide after Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police in her own home in May 2020. Taylor was not named in the warrant, nor was the person the police were looking for in her apartment.
Amir Locke was sleeping on a friend’s couch when the Minneapolis SWAT executed a no-knock warrant early in the morning on Feb. 2, 2022. Locke was not named in the warrant and was legally armed with a handgun. Police shot Locke three times.
“No-knock warrants, like the one that led to Amir’s senseless death, is an issue that Minnesota and our entire nation needs to deal with,” Andre Locke said. “We’ve seen, over and over again, across the country, the ways in which these raids result in unnecessary damage, injury and death.”
HF 22-90 seeks to prohibit the use of no-knock warrants and prohibits the courts from issuing one. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brion Curran (DFL), said that no-knock warrants violate Minnesotans right to privacy and unlawful search and seizure.
The bill passed the committee with an 8-5 vote along party lines, and was referred to Judiciary Finance and Civil Law.
Minneapolis banned no-knock warrants on April 8, 2022, citing Amir Locke’s death in the ban. Minneapolis police are required to announce themselves and wait for 20 seconds during the day and 30 seconds at night before entering a premise. The city maintains the use of no-knock warrants for exigent circumstances to prevent harm, provide emergency aid, prevent destruction of evidence and prevent the escape of a suspect.