Minneapolis Has Learned Little Since 2020?

Bonsu Thompson
4 min readFeb 8, 2022

A continuously racist police department and unreliable mayor keeps the Twin City a danger zone for POC

Photo by Andrew Valdivia on Unsplash

The death of George Floyd has done little to erode the Minneapolis Police Department’s reputation as one of the United States’ most racist law enforcement branches. Like American racism in and of itself, the MPD’s bigotry and unethical practices remain systemically and politically protected. The tragedy is that Derek Chauvin’s conviction was an anomaly — many say, a federal token to placate and pacify POC and civil rights fighters alike so that the department can continue vile business as usual. The suspicions are inspired by facts. A city’s response to their police department’s wrongdoing will tell you whether or not Black lives matter in that sector.

Since Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, several Black Minnesota residents have been killed by local police — most reportedly, 20-year-old (unarmed) Daunte Wright. The latest execution took the life of 22-year-old Amir Locke, who was shot and killed on February 2 by a SWAT team serving a no-knock warrant to his cousin’s apartment. The officers gained entry into the apartment by key and woke up Locke by yelling and kicking the couch on which he slept. Startled in the dark, Locke instinctually clutched his legal fire arm. Once officer Mark Hanneman saw the weapon, he immediately fired multiple shots into Locke killing him. The time between entry and shooting was less than ten seconds.

The incident has risen the volume on opposition for no-knock search warrants, a practice born during Nixon’s initial war on drugs. Last year, Minneapolis passed a reform bill that included restrictions on such a warrant. In fact, the city’s Mayor Jacob Frey ran his campaign on assurances to ban no-knock searches. Last October, though, the wording on Jacobfray.org changed from prohibiting no-knocks to forbidding “unannounced entry,” leaving the mayor in breach of his campaign promise. The latest result: another Black mother and father paying the price of their son’s life for a mayor’s double-tongue.

Although Amir Locke was not named on the warrant, the Minneapolis Police Department’s initial press release referred to him as a “suspect” four times. It also stated that he pointed his gun at the officers. A release of the body camera footage revealed that…

Bonsu Thompson

Bonsu Thompson is a writer, producer, Brooklynite and 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab fellow.