It’s Day 18 of Black History Month and We Whites Are All Going to STFU and Listen.

[CONTENT NOTE: police killings of Black people; no violent images appear in this post, which does contain: an image of a casket and pallbearers at a funeral for police shooting victim Amir Locke; discussion and news reporting on police killings of Black people; some links in the Amir Locke section go to pages which contain graphic and disturbing police body camera footage of his killing and/or still images extracted from it.]


I have learned something about myself through this Black History Month project (JFC! There I go making it all about me already! #whitefail): it’s that I physically cannot write a blog post every day about every “newsworthy” story I encounter about Black people, whether tragic, triumphant, or very often both. That is why, for the past few days, I included in my posts links and blurbs about stories I did not address.

More than one article regarding police killings of Black people appears in my news feed today. I am posting about all three of them.



Photo of face of Amir Locke, smiling very broadly.

Amir Locke, 22
(image: source via

Black man Amir Locke, killed by cop, laid to rest, Sharpton gives eulogy: ‘Not guilty of anything but being young and Black in America’

Officer Mark Hanneman fatally shot Locke as a SWAT team barged into a Minneapolis apartment before 7 a.m. on a no-knock warrant. Bodycam video showed Locke, who had been sleeping on a couch, being startled awake by the officers. He held a gun in his right hand. He was killed less than 10 seconds after the cops entered the room.

Yeah that neat little summary does not quite tell the full story.

  • Amir Locke legally owned the gun he was holding and held a concealed carry permit for it. (I assume concealed carry permits are valid inside peoples’ homes?)
  • The person the police were looking to arrest, Mekhi Speed, 17, is a cousin of Amir Locke’s and was not in the home at the time of Locke’s shooting.
  • Speed was taken into custody without incident days later “in Winona, about 105 miles southeast of St. Paul.”
  • The no-knock warrant was issued for three apartments in the building; police only found some personal belongings of their suspect, Mekhi Speed, in the other two.

I watched that bodycam footage when it was released. I wish I hadn’t, but felt I should. It has haunted me ever since, as I knew it would. I am not linking to it (it is not difficult to find via your good friend Mr. Google), but here is summary:

Body camera footage shows officers using a key to silently enter an apartment before loudly announcing their presence and telling a man to “get on the f—— ground.”

The man was Amir Locke, and he was wrapped in a blanket, asleep on a couch. But the yelling and cursing at him did not wake him:

Officers entered the apartment by using a key, then came in shouting and woke up Locke with a kick to the back of the couch.

That startles him awake, and then:

A man on a couch holding a hand gun that’s pointed at the ground — and without a finger on the trigger — slowly begins to rise from the couch when he is shot three times and falls to the floor.

The entire sequence lasts nine seconds.

TL;dr: An innocent Black man lost his life to the same fascist authoritarian police tactics that killed innocent Black woman Breonna Taylor.

Casket containing the remains of Amir Locke, held by pallbearers at his funeral.

Pallbearers move the casket containing the remains of Amir Locke during his funeral at the Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, February 17, 2022.
(image: KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)



Daunte Wright and his son, Daunte Jr., at his first birthday party. Both are smiling adorably. The setting appears to be a lovely suburban backyard lawn, with a wooden deck decorated for a party in the background.


Daunte Wright and his son, Daunte Jr., at his first birthday party.
(image: released to media by Daunte Wright’s family attorneys.)

Daunte Wright was killed on April 11, 2021 by then-police officer Kim Potter, after a traffic stop for expired plates. Potter then learned he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, attempted to detain and arrest him, and when he did not comply, shot him. Potter claims she mistook her gun for her taser.

Daunte Wright’s mother says can’t forgive ex-Minneapolis cop

The mother of Daunte Wright said Friday she will never be able to forgive the former suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed her son.

Addressing the court during Kim Potter’s sentencing hearing for manslaughter, Katie Wright said she would only refer to Potter as “the defendant” because Potter only referred to her 20-year-old son as “the driver” at trial.

She never once said his name. And for that I’ll never be able to forgive you. And I’ll never be able to forgive you for what you’ve stolen from us,” Katie Wright said.

“My life and my world will never ever be the same again,” she said.

Potter was convicted in December of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 killing of Wright, a Black motorist. She’ll be sentenced only on the most serious charge of first-degree manslaughter, which carries a presumptive penalty of just over seven years in prison.
[bold emphasis mine.]

The prosecutor is seeking the “presumptive penalty.” Also:

In Minnesota, it’s presumed that inmates who show good behavior will serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison and the rest on supervised release, commonly known as parole.

I have two comments. The first is to Ms. Wright: my sincere condolences, and I will never be able to forgive her, either. The second, to Ms. Potter: Daunte Wright. DAUNTE WRIGHT. That’s D-A-U-N-T-E  W-R-I-G-H-T. Say his name.


As I am writing this, a Breaking News alert from New York Daily News has just popped up on my screen:

New York Daily News logo with "breaking news" banner

Ex-cop Kim Potter sentenced to two years in shooting death of Daunte Wright — after mistaking gun for Taser

Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright after mistaking her gun for a Taser, was sentenced on Friday to two years behind bars.
Read the Latest [at New York Daily News]

Ex-police officer an white woman Kimberly Potter mugshot.

Kimberly Potter “the prisoner”
(image: public domain via Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)



Photo of face of George Floyd.

George Floyd
(image: via Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, courtesy of Ben Crump)

Former officer snaps at prosecutor when asked why he didn’t try to get Derek Chauvin off George Floyd

Cross-examination of Tou Thao got tense Wednesday as the ex-officer snapped at the prosecutor for asking why he didn’t tell Derek Chauvin to get off George Floyd’s neck and back during the 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

“I think I would trust a 19-year veteran to figure it out,” Thao said on the stand.

Assistant US Attorney LeeAnn Bell had been pressing Thao on his reasoning for not interfering in Chauvin’s handling of Floyd, how often Thao faced toward his fellow officers during the restraint that lead to Floyd’s death and whether Thao took any action to assess Floyd’s medical condition, including when he was asked to do so by a bystander.

“Did you communicate to your partners what you were being told by the bystanders,” Bell asked.

“No,” Thao replied.

Bell also asked Thao if he knew when Floyd stopped breathing, but defense attorney Robert Paule objected to the question. It was one of a dozen objections during Wednesday morning’s cross-examination. Bell seemingly became frustrated at the number of times she had to pause and rephrase her questions due to the number of objections.

“Did you hear him talking during the fifth minute or not?” Bell pressed.

“It’s a possibility,” Thao said. When asked if he could confirm if he noticed Floyd’s eyes were closed, Thao said he couldn’t tell.

Bell continued asking Thao about his knowledge of Floyd’s medical condition, of which Paule continued to vehemently object.

During redirect, Paule asked Thao why he thought it was necessary to restrain Floyd.

Thao said that one of the purposes for restraining Floyd was to protect him from potentially getting up and injuring himself or bystanders, adding the measure was partly done “to save his life.”

Did he really say that? In court? Yes. Yes he did.

He said other stuff during his testimony too:

Thao said he thought “it was obvious” Floyd was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, partly because he was “very sweaty.”

[Prosecutor LeeAnn] Bell also pressed Thao on what he heard witness Charles McMillian say to officers as he watched from the sidewalk. She asked Thao if he remembered McMillian saying, “One of my homies died the same way.”

Following another objection from defense attorneys, Bell asked Thao if he remembered McMillian telling officers to remove Chauvin’s knee from Floyd’s neck.

“I’ll take your word for it,” Thao responded.

Multiple witness also testified the three ex-officers [including Thao] made no attempt to get Chauvin off Floyd’s neck, or render medical care. Several medical experts testified this was “a survivable” event and that CPR would have saved Floyd’s life.

Former Police Officer Tou Thao mugshot

Former Police Officer Tou Thao mugshot
(image: public domain / Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via CNN)


I have no more words to post today.

Day 1 of Black History Month 2022 (Lori Teresa Yearwood) is here.
Day 2 (Mallence Bart-Williams) is here.
Day 3 (Emmett Till) is here.
Day 4 (A Tale of Two Citizens) is here.
Day 5 (Trayvon Martin) is here.
Day 6 (Franchesca Ramsey) is here.
Day 7 (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Black Aids Institute) is here.
Day 8 (extreme racial disparities in marijuana arrests) is here.
Day 9 (Summer of Soul/1969 Harlem Cultural Festival) is here.
Day 10 (current and historic racist domestic terrorism, Steve Phillips/Democracy in Color) is here.
Day 11 (Gee’s Bend Quilters) is here.
Day 12 (egregious anti-Black (& anti LGBTQ+) behavior at a NY State high school is here.
Day 13 (Erin Jackson, 1st Black woman to win Olympic gold medal in speedskating) is here.
Day 14 (Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions) is here.
Day 15 (racial inequities in spiking vehicle death rates during the pandemic compound and are compounded by other racial inequities, and The New York Times buries the lede) is here.
Day 16 (criminalizing protest/Color of Change) is here.
Day 17 (Flo Kennedy) is here.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Apparently Ms. Can’t-tell-a-taser-from-a-revolver faces only a 16-month sentence of looking at the world through steel bars, followed by 8 months of “supervised release”.

    And with “good behavior”, Prisoner Potter can probably shave 1/3 off of her time inside. :-<

  2. says

    Pierce R. Butler: Yeah, whatever this is, it is nothing remotely resembling justice. When I was working on this I found the post-conviction jail booking photos of The Prisoner. She is smiling as if she were having a great time at a party among friends…which unfortunately may not be far off the mark at all. It just disgusted me so much I couldn’t bring myself to post it, but
    it’s here if you want to see it.