Minneapolis Cop Mark Hanneman Committed No Crime When He Shot Amir Locke, But BLM Is Protesting Anyway Because “Facts Don’t Matter”

And neither does the law.

Ethics Alarms first flagged this perfect example of the Facts Don’t Matter phenomenon here, on Valentine’s Day. Amir Locke, an aspiring hip-hop artist, was asleep on a sofa in an apartment where he was staying as a guest when Minneapolis police burst into the room on a no-knock warrant. Understandably alarmed, the groggy young man, who was not involved in the crime that was the subject of the police search, tentatively raised his (licensed and legal) revolver from under the blanket. One of the officers, seeing the gun, fired his own weapon, killing Amir.

Because of the presumption that the police are all racist murderers seeking to kill innocent blacks, a Black Lives Matter core position especially in Minneapolis where George Floyd died, protesters shouting “No Justice, No Peace” again flooded the streets. It didn’t matter that any objective examination of the facts, including a film of the shooting, made it clear that neither the officer nor the victim had done anything wrong. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a professional race-baiter since his days in the U.S. Congress, predictably made an inflammatory statement that was a pure appeal to emotion:

Amir Locke’s life mattered. He was a young man with plans to move to Dallas, where he would be closer to his mom and — he hoped — build a career as a hip-hop artist, following in the musical steps of his father.

Of course his life mattered, but the statement was a deliberate call for civil unrest. It doesn’t matter how unfair it was that Locke was dead: the officer, Mark Hanneman, committed no crime, and if Ellison couldn’t discern that, then he has no business being a state attorney general. (He has no business being a state attorney general.)

Last week, prosecutors finally announced that they would not and could not file charges, saying they would not be able to prove that the officer had committed a crime in violation of Minnesota law that allows officers to use deadly force when they reasonably feel their lives are in jeopardy. Was there ever any doubt that no crime was committed? Breaking into a room based on suspicion of illegal activity, Hanneman saw a hand holding a gun. He told investigators that when he saw Locke’s gun, he feared for his life, and that he had acted quickly because he felt his life was in jeopardy. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anyone? Officer Hanneman was placed on administrative duty after the shooting but has since returned to his regular job.

Prosecutors said they were critical of the raid that the police carried out with a no-knock warrant, but that didn’t make the shooting illegal or, in truth, unethical. Nevertheless, Ellison continued to deliberately encourage racial tensions. “The problems involving policing and communities of color in Minneapolis are longstanding, and everyone knows it, yet it feels like nothing is ever done about it. This is not the time for people to feel like there’s no hope,” Ellison said. “There is. People should carry forward and continue to try to make the system one we can all be proud of.”

That is pure demagoguery. He implies the shooting was racially motivated, but in the seconds he had to make a decision, the officer couldn’t tell what race the individual who might have shot him was. What is it the Ellison wants done about “it” in this case? What would give the people “hope”? Prosecuting an innocent police officer? If Locke had shot the officer dead and survived, he would not have been prosecuted either. Never mind. Facts Don’t Matter.

After the announcement, Black Lives Matter had more protesters in the street, decrying the lack of “justice” for Amir Locke.

Of course.

17 thoughts on “Minneapolis Cop Mark Hanneman Committed No Crime When He Shot Amir Locke, But BLM Is Protesting Anyway Because “Facts Don’t Matter”

    • Good point. They should be banned as unconstitutional. If you need to stop a suspect from flushing drugs down a toilet to make your case against them, you need to do some more work on your case before making an arrest. I’d like to hear what the EA commentariat’s public safety experts have to say.

      • Well, one of the reasons for no-knock warrants is officer safety. Knocking on the door gives an armed criminal time to draw their weapons. (It is less about preserving evidence.)

        Unfortunately, it also leads to things like this, which arguably resulted in an increase of possible danger to the officers.

        I would not go so far as to say they are unconstitutional, but they may not be as effective in accomplishing their goals as one might expect.

        I would use them sparingly, if at all.

        -Jut

      • Why not just sample the sewer line coming out of the house? Knock really loud shouting “Police, we have a search warrant” while the crime lab takes samples from the sewer line. Let them send the drugs to you. No need to search.

        • Well I know *I* would notice all the construction equipment digging up the street in front of my house. It’s fair to say I wouldn’t be the only one.

          –Dwayne

  1. Waco. Outside of an Immenent threat to life, either knock politely and or wait for a time when positive identification can be made and “collateral” damage” can be minimized. Remove revenue as a motivation for police work. return to the days of Peace Officers and stop being adversarial with the general populace. Etc

    • There are three events all closely tied together, and you mention one. The events of Ruby Ridge, Waco Texas, and the Bombing of the Murrah Building are all parts of the same arc of events.

      Ruby Ridge and Waco were the results of federal law enforcement acting in a manner that resulted in the deaths of the innocent, yet the actions were deemed not worthy of prosecution of anyone involved. The far right fringe was inflamed by all of the actions being taken by federal law enforcement in general and those two events in particular. Those events were the motive behind the terrorist actions taken by Terry Nicolls and Terry McVeigh in Oklahoma. While we can condemn the actions of those two terrorists, I think if we are honest those two were very successful terrorists. The federal law enforcement agencies have taken the position that if they don’t want another bombing like that at the Murrah Building, stop doing things like Waco and Ruby Ridge. You can see this today with the way the takeover of the Malheur Wildlife refuge in Oregon. The FBI was VERY restrained and took people in peacefully save for one person.

  2. I’m not an attorney, but I am familiar with the Constitution and criminal police procedures. I am also familiar with human behavior. I also own a gun. If somebody breaks, loudly, ibnto my house at 3:00 AM, the first and hopefully last, thing they will see is the muzzle blast. This seems to me to fall into the “unreasonablt search and seizure” clause. Possibly one of our attorney’s could explaim why this would not be deemed a “fishing expedition”.

    • “A no-knock warrant is a search warrant authorizing police officers to enter certain premises without first knocking and announcing their presence or purpose prior to entering the premises. Such warrants are issued where an entry pursuant to the knock-and-announce rule (ie. an announcement prior to entry) would lead to the destruction of the objects for which the police are searching or would compromise the safety of the police or another individual.”

      They should only be issued when those conditions are certain, or virtually so. The circumstances here suggest that even that isn’t good enough.

      • Thanks for the information. However, it doesn’t change my mind. A warrant that authorizes police to look for evidence implies that the evidence does not otherwise exist. Hence, it is a fishing expedition and is, thus, unreasonable. It is not enough to have a suspicion that drugs are in the house, there must be some evidence that they are, otherwise no warrant of any kind.

        • It means that the evidence is in a room or structure beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s like any warrant to search, except with the added certainty that the evidence in question is more certainly there: it’s license to seize, not so much search. I’m sure you can imagine appropriate examples. Someone has stolen the Declaration of Independence and has been tracked to the house via satellite. A crucial witness who can identify the locale of a hidden dirt bomb in a major US city is believed to have a cyanide capsule at the ready…

  3. An update regarding no-knock warrants in Minneapolis announced by Mayor Frey:

    -Prohibits the application for and execution of all no-knock search warrants by MPD

    -Requires that officers must repeatedly knock and announce their presence and purpose prior to entry and implements a minimum wait time of 20 seconds for all warrants and 30 seconds for warrants executed during nighttime hours (8 p.m. until 7 a.m., as defined by state statute)

    -Creates a new risk classification and evaluation system for knock-and-announce search warrants

    -Introduces new, safer entry tactics to deploy when entering a home or premise

    -Enacts a more robust and thorough internal review and accountability process

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