State Watch

Omar introduces no-knock warrants bill named for Amir Locke

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) addresses reporters during press conference on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 to call out Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) anti-Islamic remarks.
Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has introduced a bill restricting no-knock warrants named after Amir Locke, the 22-year-old Minneapolis native who was fatally shot by a police officer last month. 

The Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act would establish strict limitations on the use of the warrants, which allow police to enter properties without warning in drug-related investigations.

The proposed legislation will also place bans on quick-knock warrants, all nighttime warrants, the use of flash-bang stun grenades, chemical weapons, or any military-grade firearm. 

“Far too often, no-knock warrants and raids have severe and deadly consequences, resulting in property damage, trauma, and death,” Rep. Omar said in a statement on Tuesday

“It is unconscionable that no-knock warrants continue to be in effect with little to no restrictions, regulations, and regard for the impact on lives. These preventable tragedies result in mistrust and leave behind deep wounds for families and communities that have a long history of aggressive over-policing,” she added. 

In a statement, Amir Locke’s parents, Karen Wells and Andre Locke, shared their support of Omar’s proposed legislation. 

“The family of Amir Locke remains devastated by his senseless death, but we are very grateful to Representative Omar for introducing this legislation in the hopes that other families will not endure the same tragedy as ours,” Locke’s parents said.

“While the Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act is not a complete ban, we support all efforts to restrict this dangerous and deadly practice to save even one other innocent life, and to hold law enforcement accountable when the service of warrants goes terribly wrong.”

Locke was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department’s SWAT team while officers were serving a no-knock warrant that did not name him as a suspect.

In body-worn camera footage released last month, officers are seen entering the apartment just before 7 a.m., and then shouting “Police!,” which stirred Locke awake from the couch, where he was covered in a blanket.

As he rose up from the couch, Locke was shot multiple times. 

Mark Hanneman, the officer who shot Locke during the incident, has been placed on paid administrative leave and has not been charged in relation to Locke’s death.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled Locke’s death as a homicide, ABC News noted. 

The Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act was co-sponsored by 28 House lawmakers and is endorsed by numerous committees and organizations.

Tags Amir Locke Ilhan Omar Minneapolis Minnesota
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