What To Know Today
Police killing of Amir Locke in a no-knock raid spurs calls for urgent reform, protests in Minneapolis. The 22-year-old was sleeping at a family member’s apartment when police conducted the unannounced raid on Wednesday morning. An officer later identified as Mark Hanneman shot Locke within seconds of entering the room where he’d been sleeping. The handgun the victim had with him was legally registered, his family said, and Locke was not the subject of the raid, which police said was connected to a homicide investigation. The St. Paul Police had initially sought a traditional warrant, but the Minneapolis Police reportedly only agreed to carry it out if it was of the no-knock variety. Over the weekend, hundreds of residents braved freezing temperatures to protest the shooting and demand accountability. The political winds shift further against unannounced searches: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for an immediate moratorium on such warrants on Friday afternoon, while Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he would sign a bill banning them should the Legislature deliver one to his desk. At least two GOP candidates for governor and several other state party members expressed support for scrutinizing the raids, as well. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, a state gun rights organization, condemned the “completely avoidable” shooting death and said it was “yet another example where a no-knock warrant has resulted in the death of an innocent person.”
ICYMI: NEW from THE TRACE: Why isn’t there more media coverage of where crime guns were sold? That’s a question a reader asks in our latest installment of Ask The Trace. Simply put, reporters generally don’t write about where crime guns were sold because they don’t know — that information is rarely made public. Police departments either don’t have the information themselves or don’t think it’s relevant enough to share with reporters. And the federal government argues that sharing such data with the public is a violation of the law under the terms of the so-called Tiahrt amendment. Champe Barton has more on that in his latest story.
How Dallas bucked the national trend of rising violence last year. Like most U.S. cities, Dallas saw homicides and shootings spike in 2020. But then last year it notched a 13 percent drop in homicides, while arrests fell by 11 percent. What happened? Some city leaders have attributed the change to a new public safety strategy from the police that concentrated policing efforts in a handful of areas with a lion’s share of the city’s violence, while taking an all-of-government public health approach and relying on community-led violence interruption efforts elsewhere. “This plan, like any plan, cannot be all about police,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia told Bloomberg CityLab in an assessment of the city’s efforts. “They’re an absolute integral part of the plan but there are other organizations and other groups that will need to help in order to sustain the positivity.” Still, many experts and city leaders caution that it’s too early for a full evaluation of the new strategy, especially as some activists argue that the police still operate without enough accountability.
“You have to get involved”: Sybrina Fulton speaks about her grief a decade after her son Trayvon Martin was killed. New York magazine’s The Cut interviewed her about and what her life has been like since her 17-year-old son was fatally shot 10 years ago this month. Fulton says one thing that angers her about what’s transpired in the intervening years is a lack of people translating their outrage into action. “You have to be active. You have to participate. You have to get involved,” she said. “You can’t just share a story on social media and figure, ‘Okay, I did my part, you know?’” But Fulton also has reason for optimism as well: “I’m proud that now people have opened their eyes.”
40 — the number of mass shootings so far this year, according to Gun Violence Archive, which classifies such incidents as four or more people injured. In one of the latest mass shootings, a man allegedly killed four family members and injured three others on Saturday before taking his own life in the suburban town of Corsicana, Texas. [Gun Violence Archive]