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No charges filed against MPD officer who killed Amir Locke

The announcement said there was insufficient evidence to establish criminal charges. The MPD officer who killed Amir Locke is currently back on duty after a leave of absence.
Image by Andrew Stoup
Community activists lead chants as the protestors march towards the 1st Minneapolis Police Precinct on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. The protest was held to honor Amir Locke, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis Police officer Mark Hanneman earlier that week.

No criminal charges will be filed against Minneapolis Police Officer Mark Hanneman who shot and killed Amir Locke in February.

Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday that Hanneman would not face criminal charges due to “insufficient admissible evidence.” According to MPD Public Information Officer Garrett Parten, Hanneman is back on duty after a leave of absence.

The announcement comes after the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) completed an investigation into Locke’s death and submitted their findings to the Attorney General’s Office and Hennepin County Attorney’s Office March 14.

In a joint report released Wednesday by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, Freeman and Ellison said the evidence could not disprove any element of authorized use of deadly force beyond a reasonable doubt. The report added that the state could not file charges against Hanneman due to insufficient evidence.

“To file a criminal charge against any of the police officers, and specifically against Officer Hanneman, the State must possess sufficient admissible evidence to prove every element of the criminal offense and disprove at least one element of any available affirmative defense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden, and it is one which is not met here,” the report said.

Hanneman shot and killed Locke nine seconds after MPD opened the door of an apartment he was lying in on Feb. 2. Officers entered Bolero Flats apartment buildings using a no knock warrant, and body camera footage shows Locke lying on a couch under a blanket when the officers entered the apartment. He was holding a handgun moments before he was shot by Hanneman. Locke was not named in the warrant.

In the joint report published by Ellison and Freeman, both offices said they support the current review and rethinking of policies surrounding no knock warrants. The report also said they recognized that Locke’s death was a tragedy, but Minnesota state statutes require the state to use the perspective of the officer in that situation without the benefit of hindsight.

“Amir Locke’s death is an immense tragedy. We recognize the sadness, pain, and anger felt by Mr. Locke’s family, friends, and the community over his loss,” the report read. “We recognize that this decision may seem unfair, especially given the nature of the entry and the inability to know what Mr. Locke intended to do.”

This is a breaking news report. More information will be added as it becomes available.

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  • A Gopher
    Apr 15, 2022 at 4:15 pm

    Did anyone notice that he had armor-piercing rounds in his gun. Just a question, but why does one need armor-piercing rounds for self-defense if no criminals walk around in full body armor? In that case, regular soft-target rounds would be more appropriate and effective too!

  • Meat Eater
    Apr 12, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    If your neighborhood is so dangerous you need to sleep with a gun under the covers, don’t blame the police, blame the neighborhood.