The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Minneapolis Murder by Cop

Feb 14, 2022

Many hundreds of protestors have demonstrated in Minneapolis against the murder of Amir Locke by the Minneapolis police. A police SWAT team shot and killed the 22-year-old Locke immediately after quietly using a key to open the door to the apartment where he slept, and waking him up by kicking the couch he slept upon. They were carrying a no-knock warrant for an entirely different person and shot and killed him within nine seconds.

After Locke’s murder, every news source around the country defended the cops’ actions by pointing out practically in unison that Locke pointed a gun at the cops. Locke was licensed to own and carry the gun, was still completely buried under his blankets, and naturally was frightened by being violently awakened by unknown intruders when he barely had time to lift the gun to defend himself before the cops fired three shots into him.

It’s just the latest example of police brutality by the Minneapolis cops, highlighted most prominently by the murder of George Floyd. Now it has come out that two of the cops chosen to participate in the no-knock raid that resulted in Locke’s murder were already being sued for attacks on protestors demonstrating in Minneapolis following Floyd’s murder. They were among the riot cops sent around the city, told to take aim at protestors and "Fuck ‘em up." A police commander later described their actions as "goin’ out hunting."

One of those suing the cops over those attacks is Jaleel Stallings, whom the cops fired on with foam-tipped bullets without identifying themselves while driving around in an unmarked white van. When Stallings tried to defend himself against what he thought was a deadly attack by someone firing a pistol at him, they beat him while he surrendered. He suffered a fracture of his eye socket.

These are just some recent examples in a long history of police brutality that protestors in Minneapolis are voicing outrage against. Some have likened Locke’s killing to the no-knock murder of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville, Kentucky.

One of the recent demonstrations included many black mothers and called for the firing of the Minneapolis police chief and the cop who shot Locke. Another demonstration involved more than a thousand students from the city’s Central High School who marched to the Governor’s Residence in nearby St. Paul and demanded the resignation of the mayor and police chief of Minneapolis.

These protesters are absolutely right to speak out against yet another outrageous racist murder by the police. If they can continue their fight and spread it to others, it’s possible to push the cops back, though ultimately the fight against racism and police brutality requires an end to the capitalist system that depends upon them.