Amir Locke Legal Team Releases Statement on Minneapolis Police Department Consent Decree by DOJ
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Nationally renowned civil rights attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci, and Jeff Storms today released a statement following the announcement of findings from a Department of Justice investigation into the practices of the Minneapolis Police Department:
“Today's announcement of the Department of Justice investigative findings provides evidence and structure to what the world witnessed in the murder of George Floyd and in the senseless deaths of others, including Amir Locke, at the hands of Minneapolis Police. The troubling report showed patterns and practices within MPD that used: excessive and unjustified use of force, unlawful discrimination against Black and Brown citizens, violated the protections of the right to free speech and violations of the rights of people with behavioral or mental health challenges. Each alone is deeply disturbing, and the cumulative effect of these unconstitutional patterns and practices on the community and individual lives is devastating.
“We do believe this report and the action steps that should follow give hope that the federal government will compel the change that the City of Minneapolis and its police department has long failed to create from within. For too long, Minneapolis has failed to address persistent, unlawful, and widespread patterns and practices that have detrimentally, and too often lethally, damaged the community, particularly Black and Native citizens and individuals who struggle with mental health. We fiercely believe our communities can be better, and that all can and must be treated in compliance with the Constitution. We hope Minneapolis recognizes this, reaches an agreement with the United States Government, and that a meaningful consent decree fulfills this constitutional mandate.
“Unfortunately, our legal team remains skeptical about Minneapolis’ commitment to change and accountability. We are deeply concerned that while City leaders appear to be cooperating with the DOJ directives to create change, the City is doing the opposite, and vigorously defending the conduct of the officers who shot and killed Amir Locke, with the City's pending motion to dismiss the case against Officer Hanneman and the City of Minneapolis for the February 2022 shooting death of Amir during a no-knock raid. Amir was not named in the warrant nor was he a suspect in any crime. His death was senseless, as he went from sleeping to being fatally shot by a hyper-aggressive officer only seconds into the botched raid. Despite the City's public face of wanting reform to stop the needless deaths of young Brown and Black Minneapolis residents, the City continues to mount aggressive defenses on behalf of the officers and police department they agree requires federal consent reforms. The death of Amir included two of the four troubling behaviors found by the DOJ: excessive and unnecessary deadly use of force and discrimination against a young, Black man. The efforts by the City to try and dismiss this case should be a red flag for the community that city officials publicly stood next to and supported the Locke family in the aftermath of his killing, but the City now seeks to avoid ALL accountability for Amir’s death. This continued refusal to police from within is a textbook example of why the federal government must police the Minneapolis police.”
About Ben Crump Law
Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and his national network of specialized attorneys have spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more, visit BenCrump.com or call (800) 935-8111.
About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC
Romanucci & Blandin is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death. Founded in 1998, we have decades of history securing verdicts and settlements for our clients - many for millions of dollars and others record-setting awards. Our expertise ranges from medical malpractice and sexual abuse cases involving individual or institutional negligence to civil rights, police misconduct and workers compensation, making Romanucci & Blandin a valuable legal resource to individuals and groups of people who have been injured by others’ wrongdoing. Referring attorneys and clients say several factors differentiate our firm: Our record of success, depth of experience, talented and dedicated legal team, tireless preparation and strategic use of communications to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been changed forever. We are different from other personal injury firms in that our work does not stop when a verdict or settlement is secured. We are often inspired by our clients’ experiences and commit resources to create change in our communities. For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit www.rblaw.net or call (312) 458-1000.
About Newmark Storms Dworak LLC
Newmark Storms Dworak LLC is one of Minnesota’s premier boutique law firms. The Minneapolis firm regularly handles high-profile civil rights, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse claims. For more information, visit www.newmarkstorms.com.