Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Declines Charges Against Minneapolis Police Officer Who Shot Amir Locke

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, with assistance from Attorney General Keith Ellison, has declined to bring charges against Mark Hanneman, the Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Amir Locke while serving a no-knock search warrant in February.

Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney, wrote there is “insufficient admissible evidence” to file criminal charges in the case.

“Specifically, the State would be unable to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of Minnesota’s use-of-deadly-force statute that authorizes the use of force by Officer Hanneman. Nor would the State be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a criminal charge against any other officer involved in the decision-making that led to the death of Amir Locke,” Freeman wrote.

Just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the Minneapolis SWAT team entered apartment 701 at the Bolero Flats in downtown Minneapolis to execute a no-knock search warrant in connection with a January homicide in St. Paul.

According to the Minneapolis Police Department incident report, the SWAT team went to two apartments on the 14th floor before entering the unit on the seventh and “loudly” announcing their presence. Body camera video released after the shooting shows they did not announce themselves until after they entered the apartment.

As they entered the apartment, body camera video shows officers shouted “police, search warrant” as they approached Locke, who was wrapped underneath a blanket on the couch. An officer kicked the couch, and Locke starts coming out from under the blanket while holding a handgun.

“Video shows Mr. Locke under the blanket holding a firearm that was initially held parallel to the ground before being dropped to about a 45-degree angle, then being raised again in the direction of Officer Hanneman,” Freeman and Ellison wrote.

Officers are heard yelling “hands, hands, show me your hands” and “get on the ground, get on the f***ing ground” before Officer Hanneman fired three shots at Locke, who was still wrapped in a blanket. Locke falls to the ground as the video ends.

Locke, a 22-year-old Black man whose family members said he had a permit to carry, was not named on the warrant that led to his fatal encounter.

Hanneman was placed on administrative leave after the deadly shooting. Records show he began working in law enforcement in 2015.

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