Around 40 protesters gathered outside Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s apartment on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday evening in support of justice for Amir Locke.
Locke was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman during an early morning no-knock raid on Feb. 2.
The group was the first to stage an event outside of Frey’s home since Locke’s killing. Attendees originally stayed on the sidewalk but moved out and blocked off Hennepin Avenue about 30 minutes after gathering.
The group chanted and called out to the mayor but did not receive a response. The lights in Frey’s unit were off during the entire event, leading some in the crowd to speculate he was not at home during the protest.
A local named Jay, who declined to give his last name, expressed strong feelings about the mayor’s performance. “[Frey] has to be accountable and he’s not,” Jay said. “No one is surprised by it at this point, but you gotta just be out here and keep the pressure on him.”
Jay mentioned Frey’s support of increasing police funding as one of the reasons he did not support the mayor and why he joined the protest.
“We have a huge homeless population that money could go to,” Jay added. “We have daycare programs for people, for working families and parents, that would be another thing that money could go to. That’s a much better crime prevention measure than cops—actual community resources that help people, that help prevent crime, that educate people.”
The rally lasted about an hour after going into the street and had several local young people of color as speakers. Organizer Donald Hooker, Jr. (who goes by DJ) said this was the first event he organized on his own, and that he wanted to center youth voices.
“I’m trying to make sure that the youth have a chance to share their voice and to create a space where we get to hear other perspectives of the movement,” Hooker said.
Hooker said he chose Frey’s residence for the protest as he thought it was important to keep the pressure on elected officials, and noted his frustration that no one in the Minneapolis city government or police department had been fired or arrested over Locke’s death.
The group disbanded just before 8:30 pm. The office of Mayor Jacob Frey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A funeral for Locke is set for Thursday, Feb. 17. Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton will officiate the funeral and deliver the eulogy at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in North Minneapolis.