On the second day of Black History Month, Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man living in Minneapolis, was needlessly murdered by police after they entered the apartment he was staying in.
In an article from USA Today, it was stated that the police had entered the apartment on a no-knock warrant. This means that the officers will enter the residence without knocking or making themselves known to anyone prior. This only endangers the officers and those inside, as people will usually assume their home is being broken into by civilians. Other times, people may not even be able to process what is occurring because it is all so overwhelming.
We can imagine what must’ve been going on in Amir Locke’s head. He is sleeping. Then, he is awoken by the shouting of multiple people. The couch he was resting on is kicked. Afraid, he showed his legal firearm. Within seconds, he was shot.
This is very similar to what happened to Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker, in March 2020. In this situation, police entered her apartment under a no-knock warrant while Taylor and her significant other, Kenneth Walker, were asleep. Their warrant was for someone not even residing in the apartment.
Similar to Amir Locke, Walker awoke, afraid and confused, shooting his legal firearm one time, hitting an officer in the leg. In response, the officers opened fire, killing Taylor.
To make the murder of Locke even more upsetting, it took place in the same city where three former police officers were complicit in the murder of George Floyd. Minneapolis has now proven to have a history of mercilessly and unjustifiably killing innocent black people who, in some cases, weren’t even named in their warrant or accused of committing a crime, similarly to the large scale problem of police brutality across the US. Even in cases where a crime did occur, Black people face much more violent and aggressive arrests by police and much harsher punishments by courts than any other race.
Additionally, in both the case of Locke and Walker, they were using legally owned firearms, as is their First Amendment right when they feel their life is threatened.
Strangely, many white people attempt to justify the killing of Locke and Taylor, despite white conservatives constantly fighting for the recognition of their First Amendment rights and the loosening of gun regulation. It seems as though their issue is not with the weapon at all, but that the weapon was in Black hands. Only a racist would try to defend such clear hypocrisy.
This is why—though we can’t say for certain—I believe, with my entire heart and mind, that if Breonna Taylor, Amir Locke, and the others involved in their cases were white, they would all be alive and well today. Not only do I find it highly improbable that a no-knock warrant would’ve been approved to begin with, but I also believe that even if it had, the police would not have opened fire.
It seems as though these no-knock warrants are just another way law enforcement are allowed to aggressively terrorize civilians, largely members of the Black community. I truly believe that if these cases had happened to white people, there would be public outcry from the conservative white community, claiming it was an unconstitutional execution of people practicing their God given right to bear arms and defend their life and property.
Unfortunately, racism and police brutality are such a prevalent issue in our society still. I think that we could mitigate this by removing no-knock warrants altogether. It will certainly not solve the issue, but I am sure it will save many lives in the process and get us one step closer to holding police officers accountable.