February 9, 2022
On 2/9/2022, the Minnesota Youth Council released the following statement:
On February 2nd, 2022, Amir Locke was fatally shot during a no-knock warrant in Minneapolis. Even though Amir was not found to be a suspect, and was sleeping when the police entered, he was shot and killed without warning. This incident is yet another reminder of the failures of the Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis City Government, and the State of Minnesota in its ability to protect the lives of Black Minnesotans. Our state and our elected officials have had chances to learn and reform, but this incident clearly displays that these much broader and more comprehensive steps must be taken to ensure the protection of vulnerable communities.
After nearly three years of a pandemic and following the murder of George Floyd, young people, especially Black youth, are exhausted. We are tired of the constant desensitization of violence and traumatic experiences. Constantly hearing thoughts and prayers and false promises from political leaders. We know that simple reforms and surface-level actions cannot solve our racist systems of policing that continue to fail communities of color. It is time for our leadership, from MPD, the city of Minneapolis, and the State of Minnesota, to take steps to dismantle these systems of oppression and take accountability for the harm they cause unto people of color in our state.
Not only does this matter for people of color, it matters for all Minnesotas. As we continue to watch the murders of our community members and our neighbors, we all continue to suffer. Action and mobilization are essential in creating a safer home for all Minnesotans. We must not only address issues of oppression, like the racist practices of policing, but also take steps to proactively uplift these communities through investment centered on achieving societal equity.
In Mariame Kaba’s “We Do This ‘TIl We Free Us”, she says, “Changing everything might sound daunting, but it also means there are many places to start, infinite opportunities to collaborate, and endless imaginative interventions and experiments to create. Let’s begin our journey not with the question “What do we have now, and how can we make it better?” Instead, let’s ask, “What can we imagine for ourselves and the world?” It may sound daunting to overhaul systems that have existed since the beginning of our history, but it’s our duty to ensure that all Minnesotans have the ability to succeed. The time for action is now, and we hope that our elected officials and leaders can begin to truly make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable residents.
-members of the Minnesota Youth Council