So that Second Amendment thing is kinda…flexible, huh?

Once again, the Minneapolis police flaunt their fascist behavior once again. Using a no-knock warrant, they burst into a person’s apartment in the early hours of the morning, and 9 seconds later, when a man stirs under his blanket and reveals that he has a gun, bang-bang-bang they shoot him dead. His name was Amir Locke. He was not named in the warrant. He was not associated with any criminal investigation. Maybe it was stupid to be sleeping with a gun, but the body-cam video shows a sleeping man abruptly awakened and disoriented, and killed within seconds. I guess that’s what a no-knock warrant is, permission to barge into someone’s home and murder the occupants.

The police statement is amazing.

An officer fired his duty weapon and the adult male suspect was struck. Officers immediately provided emergency aid and carried the suspect down to the lobby to meet paramedics, the report states. The suspect was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died.

Huffman tried to explain the police tactics used during the raid, stating that the footage shows the barrel of the gun from under the blanket forced the officers to make a split-second decision.

The chief also admitted that Locke was not named on the warrant the officers were executing—and said it was not immediately clear whether he had any connection to the original St. Paul homicide investigation that prompted the raid.

Boy, the passive voice is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. “An officer shot a man, killing him” would be a lot shorter and cleaner. They call him a suspect to make it sound like he was suspiciously bad, when he wasn’t a suspect in anything at all, just a guy sleeping. It wasn’t the officer’s fault, he saw a gun and was forced to kill him. Those good Samaritan officers then provided emergency aid — how kind of them — to deal with the two bullet holes they had just blown in Locke’s chest.

There is, of course, no expression of remorse, no recognition that maybe they’d been a teeny-tiny bit overzealous and trigger-happy, and that, just maybe, they’d fucked up big time, again.

You can actually buy this flag for $11.66 at Amazon. America!

Well, now they’re in trouble. They have just criminalized owning a gun in your own home, a crime that earns an instant death penalty. I’m sure all the white Republican gun nuts are going to march on Minneapolis en masse to protest this abrogation of their constitutional rights. At the very least they’ll be tearing down their thin blue line flags, and politely discussing reforming police policy. Right?

Oh, wait. Amir Locke was black.

Never mind, they’re frantically searching police records right now to find out if he had a parking ticket in 2015, in order to justify the murder.


  1. says

    Those good Samaritan officers then provided emergency aid — how kind of them — to deal with the two bullet holes they had just blown in Locke’s chest.

    To be fair, there have been plenty of times where the police didn’t offer aid after they shot someone and just let them bleed out so they wouldn’t have any witnesses. So, I guess this is progress?

  2. Walter Solomon says

    It’s been flexible since St. Ronnie of Raygun passed gun control laws while governor of California to disarm the Black Panthers. When you consider the Panthers’s primary reason for organizing was to protect the local Black community from police brutality and this all makes sense.

    I’m not a fan of guns but I’m sure the police would prefer if the people they brutalize and kill were disarmed.

  3. strangerinastrangeland says

    I admit that I am glad to live over 5000 km away from the US. Knowing that there is a group of people running around the country who have obviously the right and means to murder you on a whim without fear of repercussion is scary.

  4. Howard Brazee says

    I will note that when we live in a society where everybody’s armed, everybody’s in much greater danger from police and everybody else.

  5. specialffrog says

    I’ve been reading the 1619 Project book and there is an entire chapter on how both the second amendment and US self-defense laws have only ever really applied to white people.

  6. David Utidjian says

    I wonder if watching the Mitchell and Webb ‘Are we the Baddies?’ skit be totally lost on this right wing use of the Punisher skull on their regalia.

  7. rietpluim says

    Oh, wait. Amir Locke was black.

    I just don’t know how to respond anymore.

    From the first few sentences, I knew this line was coming.

    It’s not gun ownership that is punishable by instant death.

  8. PaulBC says

    Anyone else remember the John Sayles movie Lone Star? Actually I am a little fuzzy on a lot of details, but there’s a scene where the corrupt sheriff demonstrates his method for getting away with cold-blooded murder. You ask the Black gun owner to take his weapon down from the shelf in his own home so you can inspect it, shoot him when he’s holding it, and then claim he was armed. It seems a bit theatrical, and I’m not sure if it’s based on real events. But we haven’t come very far since then. Maybe it’s worse. Police are often able to get away with the “Bungalow Bill” defense: he looked scary, and if looks could kill, it would have been me instead of him.

  9. says

    @#5, strangerinastrangeland:

    Given that there’s a bunch of heavily-armed right-wing thugs currently occupying the downtown area of Canada’s federal capital, they have apparently built a bomb right next to city hall (a massive illegal stockpile of propane and diesel tanks, which has been repeatedly filmed and photographed on Twitter and which residents confirm would get any of them arrested had they set it up, because the cops usually look for excessive propane), they have announced the intention of going to Toronto and straight-up murdering anybody who is dressed as a medical worker when they’re there, and the Canadian government response so far has been “eh, it’s too much trouble to stop them so we’re not only not going to stop them now, we’re going to let them get into Toronto too” (combined with Ottowa cops posing for selfies with them, of course)… the US isn’t even the only country on this continent where there’s a very serious problem going unaddressed. A glance through the headlines in Europe and Asia strongly suggests that you can be murdered without consequence pretty much anywhere, as long as you’re the right type of victim.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Decades ago, I shared a house with a PTSD’d combat veteran who usually slept even later than I do.

    One day, seeing his car gone and not able to find the newspaper, I went into his bedroom to look for it (the paper).

    Turns out he had taken his car to the shop and gone back to sleep – to awaken instantly when I stepped in the door, pulling his loaded & chambered .45 from under his pillow and aiming directly at my head. Luckily (imho), he recognized me in a fraction of a second and refrained from squeezing the trigger.

    Some Marines really do have what it takes to handle weaponry. I hope the cops never crash his house.

  11. wzrd1 says

    I saw the news when it was fresh, I also noticed multiple investigations, including those that routinely find against cops have been initiated.
    I’m sure that the investigations will reveal all wrongdoing and repair the damage, making the victim undead in no time flat.
    Or something.

  12. davidc1 says

    “We cut them in half with a machine gun,then offer them a band aid”.
    Captain Willard.
    @12 Fecking feck,what happened to the Canadians,they used to be so polite?

  13. andrei613 says

    @#12, The Vicar.

    Most of us Canadians are peaceful. These yahoos come from Western Canada, which is where the small population of ultra right wing loonies can’t even get any political traction to get a seat in a provincial legislature.

    And yes, the police in Ottawa should be clearing these terrorists out, and arresting them, and if they need help, well, there are troops at CFB Petawawa just up the river.

  14. nomdeplume says

    Yes, but hang on a minute, Lauren Boebert says the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in 1776 and it has never been changed since…So, there is no Second Amendment (nor should she be able to vote…).

  15. unclefrogy says

    we live in a post racist country now so it is unthinkable and anti-american to advocate to de-fund the police!

  16. andrei613 says

    @#18, unclufroggy.

    In the 2020 election, four specific Republican White men cast willfully fraudulent votes for Dolt45. One even afterwards touted that his dead wife voted in 2020 (Due to HIM committing that act of voter fraud) was ‘proof’ that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

    Between them, they got three DAYS of jail time (One guy) and some probation.

    But, a Black WOMAN who filed an application to vote was sent to prison for SIX YEARS. Note: Both the local probation and election boards provided her with documents that she could vote once her probation was over and she submitted said documents with her application to vote, AND said election board NEVER took her off of the eligible voter rolls.

    The US still IS a very deeply racist land.

  17. PaulBC says

    unclefrogy@18 was entirely and palpably sarcastic. (Unless I’m very confused.) (But I admit it’s hard to tell anymore.)

  18. andrei613 says

    @20, PaulBC.

    I acknowledge that possibility, and I wanted to get the specific proof of the reality into the record here. :-)

  19. snarkhuntr says

    @20, andrei613

    Please stop with the ‘western Canada’s thing. The idiot convoy may have started out here, but it picked up most of its steam in the prairies, which are definitionally not the west.

    Also note that a subgroup of these chuds is currently blocking access to the border crossing in Coutts, AB.

    I wonder how much overlap there is between members of these groups and people who loudly demanded immediate violent arrests for indigenous land defenders blocking ‘critical infrastructure’ and who fantasize about having the right to drive over inconvenient protesters they disagree with. I’d give good odds the Venn diagram is a near total overlap.

  20. StevoR says

    @ ^ snarkhuntr & @20, andrei613 : Menaewhile inOz where the Trumpuist cult brain virus has taken hold amongst our reichwing fringe :

    Excerpt :

    A man was even seen carrying a prop gallows with three nooses hanging from it, resulting in Australians voicing their outrage and terror on social media over the levels of violence that the anti-vax movement is seemingly advocating for.


    Trump flags were also seen at the Melbourne protest, leading some to draw comparisons to the January 6 Insurrection, where a mob of rioters carried Confederate flags, hung nooses and paraded white supremacist symbols as they breached the Capitol.

    Scroll down – excerpt :

    some protesters have co-opted and adopted symbols and slogans from overseas, including supporters of former US president Donald Trump.

    For example, on the right of the photo below, two people are wearing matching red “Make Australia Great Again” caps.

    It’s a local remake of Mr Trump’s campaign slogan, which has been widely adopted by the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protest movements, including Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

    Also :

    Murdoch media generally has so very much to answer for and has ruined so many minds and lives.

    PS. Oh & then there’s our Pentecostal PM’s Quanon cultist mate, Tim Stewart – who was reported to counter-terrorism authorities as a dangerous extremist by members of his own family – who stayed at Kirribilli House and managed to get a special shout out cult phrase inserted into a speech by PM Scotty from Marketing..

  21. davidc1 says

    The image I have of Western Canada is of the Hippie balancing stones on top of one another I saw
    on the beach in Stanley Park in Vancouver.

  22. says

    Cops often have to make slip second decisions. It’s a difficult and dangerous job. That being said, the difference in approaching high risk situations in North America when compared to European countries is just shocking.

    It seems to me like American cops have a tendency to get themselves into situations where they then have to make these split-second decisions. Maybe they could just not?
    Like, these no-knock warrants. Are they really necessary? Because it wasn’t difficult to predict that something like this might happen when you bust into somebody’s home unannounced, in a country with so many guns. It should be expected. This whole thing could have been easily avoided, but the cops decided they wanted to play real-life counterstrike. I don’t really feel like giving them a break when the obvious result occurs.

    Frankly, in that situation, I don’t grant a cop the right to defend themself. You’re in control. You made the decision to approach the situation in a dangerous manner. You know you’re entering someone’s home without warning. You know you’re taking a risk. So, if somebody has to take a bullet in the chest, you can stand right there and fucking take it. You’re the one who signed up for it.
    Don’t like that idea? Then stop deliberately generating these situations. Then you won’t have to.

  23. PaulBC says


    It seems to me like American cops have a tendency to get themselves into situations where they then have to make these split-second decisions. Maybe they could just not?

    I couldn’t agree more. I’d start with traffic enforcement. There is absolutely no reason a fix-it ticket (e.g. broken taillight) should be turned into a potentially armed encounter. Photograph and ticket by mail. Same for running stop signs and speeding, unless the driver is a clear and immediate public menace. Cops shouldn’t be on a continual fishing expedition, but we seem to have accepted this as normal.

  24. funny looking says

    The 2nd Amend was put in place to keep black people in their place
    Little has changed

  25. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Cops often have to make slip second decisions. It’s a difficult and dangerous job.

    False. Being a cop is a rather safe job. IIRC, more deaths on the job happen from mundane traffic accidents compared to being shot. Being a trucker is a more dangerous job because they drive a lot more. Is it stressful? Perhaps. But it’s not particularly deadly.

    Like, these no-knock warrants. Are they really necessary?

    Indeed. They are not necessary. They should be banned in every case whatsoever – excepting a confirmed hostage situation and situations of invasion or rebellion and nothing more.

    Cops shouldn’t be on a continual fishing expedition, but we seem to have accepted this as normal.

    I love your ideas about photographs. One thing to add: I’d like to go back to the older standard where if a cop executes a search, with or without a warrant, the scope of the search (and any accompanying seizures, citations, etc.) is limited to the original scope based on the original reasons. Fishing expeditions should be unlawful. The “in plain sight” exception to this warrant scope requirement was created wholecloth by SCOTUS circa IIRC 1920, and the exception should be eliminated. The exclusionary rule should apply.

    The 2nd Amend was put in place to keep black people in their place
    Little has changed

    Sigh. I’ll skip the rant for now, but I encourage you to look deeper into this. It’s just wrong. The one thing I will drop is: The original paper / book that started this nonsense is blatantly false if you bother to check its historical claims. The one claim about IIRC James Madison and George Mason saying nothing pro-gun rights is particularly galling considering that we have the records from the debates over ratification of the federal constitution in Virginia, and there was a debate between James Madison and George Mason where they argued about something while both agreeing that the militia of the United States (key word “the”) is the same thing as the people of the United States. PPS: According to today’s federal law, basically all men between the ages of 17 and 45 are members of the militia of the United States (again, key word “the”).

  26. snarkrates says

    I’ll just drop a recommendation here for “Tangled Up in Blue” by Rosa Brooks for folks who want to have a deeper understanding than the typical Thin Blue Line vs. ACAB dichotomy. I will say this–only in the US is it considered normal for both citizens and cops to be armed to the teeth. Only in the US and authoritarian countries is it considered normal for such a large proportion of the population to be behind bars.
    America is exceptional–but not in a good way.

  27. says

    Only in the US and authoritarian countries is it considered normal for such a large proportion of the population to be behind bars.

    The way you phrased that implies the US is not an authoritarian country.

  28. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    It might help if you read the full post. That was their, very clear, point.

  29. says

    Why is there a badly concealed flag of Finland in that shitty Punisher parody? It’s been at least two years since I saw someone wearing a MAGA cap or other blatant fascism-related fan merch here in my home town, so it might take a while before I get to laugh at that despicable design in the flesh.