Killing of Amir Locke Shows Need for Legislation to End “No-Knock” Warrants
The national Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and our Twin Cities Chapter condemn the use of “no-knock” warrants by the Minneapolis Police Department, who fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke on February 2nd, 2022 during a botched raid that had nothing to do with him. Bodycam footage shows Locke, a licensed gun owner, holding a weapon with his finger off the trigger after being startled awake by police. Despite not being named on the warrant, Locke was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police within seconds.
This tragedy highlights the danger these warrants continue to pose and recalls the police killing of Breonna Taylor in 2020. The police departments in both cases insist that “no-knock” warrants decrease the risk of harm to officers, suspects, and nearby residents. However, these disturbing killings demonstrate that they are both extremely ineffective and very dangerous. Furthermore, they too often result in loss of life and deny Black community members their constitutional rights.
Mass protests in Minneapolis and a youth-led student walk-out in Saint Paul have captured national attention. We want to amplify their calls to action, which include an independent investigation, the prosecution of the individuals responsible for killing Locke, and a ban on “no-knock” warrants as we demand justice for Amir Locke and all victims of police violence.
This morning, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar introduced the Amir Locke Stop Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act in response to the killing of Amir Locke and others due to these dangerous police actions. JACL supports this bill as well as more comprehensive efforts at reform including the BREATHE Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which continue to stall in the Senate and could have prevented Amir Locke’s death. We are appalled by the continued congressional inaction in the face of these tragedies and demand legislation now.
Our Japanese American community includes Black Japanese Americans who experience anti-Black racism from inside and outside the Japanese American community. Last year, the JACL passed a resolution affirming our commitment to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, Black communities, and the civil rights and well-being of all communities threatened by systemic violence and racism. We will continue to engage with our membership alongside national and local partners in the fight to make these changes a reality.
Read the Press Release from Rep. Omar's Office on the New Bill: