The police shooting death of 22-year old Amir Locke, a legal gun owner and concealed carry holder killed during the execution of a no-knock warrant in Minneapolis last week, has prompted protests and a renewed debate about the use of no-knock warrants.
One of those critical of the practice; Bryan Strawser, chairman of the MN Gun Owners Caucus, who joins today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to talk about the Locke case and the dangers presented by no-knock warrants to both legal gun owners and law enforcement.
The 2A group was quick to criticize the incident on social media after the story broke last Friday, and Strawser says he and other members got plenty of flack from folks accusing them of “go[ing] full BLM and Antifa” for the organization’s initial statement, which read as follows:
While many facts remain unknown at this time, information indicates that Amir Locke was a law-abiding citizen who was lawfully in possession of a firearm when he was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police on the morning of February 2nd.“As seen in the body-worn camera video released by Minneapolis Police, Mr. Locke appears to be sleeping on the couch during the execution of a no-knock warrant, “ stated Bryan Strawser, Chair, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. “He is awoken with a confusing array of commands coming from multiple officers who are pointing lights and firearms at him.”“Mr. Locke did what many of us might do in the same confusing circumstances, he reached for a legal means of self-defense while he sought to understand what was happening, “ added Rob Doar, Senior VP, Governmental Affairs.Mr. Locke was not a suspect in the crime for which the warrant was issued and was not named at all in the search warrant.“The tragic circumstances of Mr. Locke’s death were completely avoidable, “ stated Doar. “It’s yet another example where a no-knock warrant has resulted in the death of an innocent person. In this case, as in others, the public should expect and receive full transparency and accountability from law enforcement agencies that serve and protect our local communities.”“Amir Locke, a lawful gun owner, should still be alive, “ added Strawser. “Black men, like all citizens, have a right to keep and bear arms. Black men, like all citizens, have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure.”The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus expects a transparent and independent investigation into the circumstances of this tragic incident.
In December 2013, Henry Magee shot and killed a police officer during a pre-dawn, no-knock drug raid on his home. He was initially charged with capital murder, but he argued that he shot the police officer, who he thought was an intruder, to protect his pregnant girlfriend. In February 2014, a grand jury declined to indict him, and charges were dropped.