When, if ever, will there be charges for the cops who burst into Amir Locke’s apartment in the middle of the night and killed him?
It’s a question that deserves answers, and soon, since Minneapolis police seem to be making quick work out of the case that ultimately resulted in Locke’s timely death–a case that based on reporting had nothing to do with Locke but which is starting to sound like a convenient pretext to excuse the inexcusable.
Locke died while Minneapolis police were executing warrants in connection with the killing of another man, Otis Rodney Elder, in January. There were two suspects in that case: a 17-year-old cousin of Locke’s who was arrested last week and a 16-year-old who was charged on Feb. 23 but who hasn’t been apprehended.
From USA Today
Police tracked the teenage suspect and his associates to the Bolero Flats apartment building in Minneapolis, ultimately executing search warrants on three apartments: the one the teen lived in with his mother; another apartment two doors down connected to his associate; and an apartment belonging to the girlfriend of the teen’s brother seven floors down. Minneapolis police say the last apartment where Locke was killed was the only one with a “no-knock warrant.”
Locke, by all accounts, had nothing to do with Elder’s killing. He wasn’t the target of the raids, a suspect or person of interest. He wasn’t named in any of the warrants for those raids. The gun he had in his hand was legally in his possession. And he had no criminal record.
That last part, especially, shouldn’t matter but it’ll be important to keep repeating because when cops kill, they often try to point to something in the dead person’s background as a defense for their actions. Derek Chauvin’s defense tried to use George Floyd’s addiction as an excuse. Darren Wilson got away with killing Michael Brown in part by alleging Brown stole something from a store. A jury let Michael Rosfeld walk after he shot Antwon Rose in the back and killed him in 2018; Rosfeld claimed Rose, who was unarmed and running away, had been involved in a drive-by shooting earlier that day.
If you sense a pattern, it’s because there is one. Cops are trained to gather evidence and make cases against people, so by definition they’re good at finding ways to paint people they kill under questionable circumstances in a bad light. That doesn’t mean Otis Elder’s family doesn’t deserve justice or that his alleged killers don’t deserve to be arrested and tried.
Just don’t be surprised if it starts to sound like those arrests are the beginning of the police’s posthumous case against Amir Locke.