Law enforcement vehicles block off the street outside of the apartment complex where police shot and killed a man while executing a search warrant on Wednesday. Credit: Tim Evans for MPR News

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On Friday, February 4, The University of Minnesota Black Law Students Association released the following open letter, addressing the killing of Amir Locke during a police raid in Minneapolis.

The University of Minnesota Black Law Students Association mourns the death of Amir Locke.

Minnesota murdered Philando Castile in 2016. Minnesota murdered George Floyd in 2020. Minnesota murdered Daunte Wright in 2021. These three recent murders joined a long list of state-sponsored violence against Black people in Minnesota.

Now, as we pay heed to the murder of Amir Locke, we also reckon with the legacy of intersectional police violence that permeates the Black communities of Minnesota along the lines of gender, sexuality, ability, religion, class, and so much more. Since 2000, Minnesota has murdered at least 57 Black residents

The murder of Amir Locke occurred before 7 a.m., barely two days into Black History Month. A Minneapolis SWAT team executed a no-knock warrant for a reason unknown, using an apartment key. The police shot and killed Amir Locke nine seconds after entering the apartment. The news articles covering the death of Amir Locke do not include photos of Amir Locke, but rather the gun he was carrying–as if to justify his death. 

The University of Minnesota Black Law Students Association requests that the parties who chose to execute a no-knock warrant, before sunrise, be terminated from their positions with the Minneapolis Police Department immediately. 

Are we not exhausted? Police are seven times more likely to use force against Black men than their White peers in Minnesota. Eighty percent of police stops in Minneapolis involve Black drivers. Police kill Black Americans during encounters at a rate of 3 to 1 compared to white peers. Eight percent of Minnesota is Black. 12.4 percent of America is Black. While Minnesota has had 57 recorded Black deaths at the hands of police since 2000, all of us are hurting. When will we make systemic changes to protect Americans? 



While Minnesota has had 57 recorded Black deaths at the hands of police since 2000, all of us are hurting. When will we make systemic changes to protect Americans? 

The sacrifices of Black Americans have long been taken for granted, dating back to 1770, when Crispus Attucks was the first person to die in the name of American freedom. Slave labor funded the U.S.’ rise to become an international power. Ten percent of the Union army was composed of Black men, fighting not only for freedom, but also to keep this country whole. Black women were crucial to the fight for universal suffrage. More than 370,000 Black men fought in World War I. More than 2.5 million Black men served in World War II.

Black Americans fought for all of our equal rights, and yet frequently, our white peers benefit the most. This disturbing irony seen in the history of Black Americans building this nation but not being able to feel safe in the comfort of our own homes must be addressed.

The Black Law Students Association demands action. We refuse to support a system that disproportionately targets Black bodies and executes them without reservation. Fire the men and women who decided a 7 a.m. no-knock warrant was appropriate. Release the details of the warrant in full. We built this country; we deserve better than living in fear.

Justice C. Shannon 2L, BLSA, UMN Law

Elizabeth Bovell 2L, BLSA, UMN Law

Dahlia Wilson, 1L, BLSA, UMN Law

Louica Alexandre, 1L, BLSA, UMN Law

2L, BLSA, UMN Law

Dylan Saul, 2L, ACS, UMN Law

Tobi Ladipo, 1L, BLSA, UST Law

Samia Osman, 2L, BLSA, MLSA, UMN Law

Mercedes G. Molina, 2L, LLSA, JLI, NLG, UMN Law

Leah Reiss, 2L, JLSA, UMN Law

Akeem Anderson, 2L, BLSA & LLSA, UMN Law

Zack Taylor, 2L, JLSA, UMN Law

Heather Chang, 3L, APALSA, LLSA, JLI, UMN Law

Eura Chang, 3L, APALSA, UMN Law

Ryan Liston, 1L, NLG, UMN Law

Selma El-Badawi, 1L, MLSA, UMN Law

Faith Hemingway, 2L, NLG, UMN Law

Mohammad Ziny, 1L, MLSA, NLG, ACS, UMN Law

Maurice Hicks, MS1, UMN Med

Emily Moss, 3L, ACS, UMN Law

Ingrid Hofeldt, 3L, UMN Law

Victor Sikeley, 3L, BLSA, UST Law

Amy Cohen, 1L, JLSA, UMN Law

Brandie Burris 3L, BLSA, UMN Law

Journal of Law & Inequality, Editorial Board

Madelyn Cox-Guerra, 2L, LLSA, UMN Law

Emily Curran, 3L, OutLaw, UMN Law

Ujjoyini Bhowmik, 2L, UMN Law

Fabiola Gretzinger, 3L, LLSA, WLSA, MJIL, UMN Law 

Patrick Murray, 3L, LLSA, UMN LAW

Natalie Bielenberg, 2L, WLSA, UMN Law

Sydney Goggins, 3L WLSA, UMN Law

Job Okeri, 1L, BLSA, UMN Law

Tayla Moore, 1L, BLSA, UMN Law

Morgan Zuehlke, 1L, UST Law

Mollie Clark, 1L, MLSA, UMN Law

Jessica Keller, 2L, UMN Law

Jon Erik Haines, 3L, JLI, UMN Law

Anika Reza, 2L, ALP, UMN Law

Alexander Goudie-Averill, 1L, UMN Law

Kira Le, 1L, UMN Law

Yousef AlMesad, 2L, UMN Law

Maysa Alqaisi, 2L, MLSA, UMN Law

Theresa Green, 2L, WLSA, UMN Law

Jordan Hughes, 3L, UMN Law

Haashir Lakhani, 3L, JLI, MLSA, UMN Law

Ryann Freeman, 2L, ALP, Racial Equity and Justice Committee, UMN Law

Zach Fisher, 1L, EELS, UMN Law

Julia Imperatore, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Molly Nelson-Regan, 2L, LLSA, WLSA, UMN Law

Sarah Cohen, 2L, APALSA, WLSA, UMN Law

Amanda Maharg, 1L, WLSA, Outlaw, UMN Law

Alida Weidensee, 2L, If/When/How, UMN Law

Sam Marquardt, 3L, WLSA, UMN Law

Molly Dunn, 1L, UMN Law

Katie McCoy, 3L, UMN Law

Hannah Fereshtehkhou, 3L, UMN Law

Megan Mullenbach, 1L, UMN Law

Sadie Betting, 2L, OutLaw, UMN Law

Kim Ortleb, 2L, UMN Law

Annie Brooking, 1L, Outlaw, WLSA, UMN Law

Ashley Meeder, 3L, UMN Law

Bethany Jewison, 1L, UMN Law

Sophia Zink, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Maria Saracino-Lowe, 2L, EELS, UMN Law

Sierra Paulsen, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Rachel Emendorfer, 1L, UMN Law

Emma Redinger, 1L, UMN Law

Lucy Dougherty, 1L, MJF, WLSA, ALP, UMN Law

Kari Thoreson, 2L, WLSA, UST Law 

Angel Lockhart, 3L, BLSA, University of Chicago Law School

Molly Novak, 2L, Anti-Racism Alliance, WLSA UST Law

Erin Abramovitz, 3L, WLSA, UMN Law

Emma Kruger,  1L, UMN Law

Mary Fleming, 2L, If/When/How Board, UMN Law

Christina Luna, HSOCA

Joseph Scanlon, 2L, JLI, UMN Law

Nicholas Taylor, 1L, NLG, UMN Law

Allyson Barkley, MPP/JD Duke University

Hanna Day, 1L, WLSA, CLA, UST Law

Alena Carl, 3L, TORT, UMN Law

Yastril Nañez, 3L, LLSA, UST Law 

Marina Cruz, 1L, LLSA, UST Law 

Micayla Bitz, 1L, UST LAW

Lee Owen, 1L, UMN Law

Alex Kautza, 1L, UST Law

Courtney Annakin, 1L, UST Law

Alexandria Dolezal, 3L, UMN Law 

Katin Liphart Massad, 1L, If/When/How, UMN Law

Fionna Ek, 1L, OUTLaw, UMN Law

Kendra Saathoff, 3L, UMN Law

Amelia Lizarraga, 1L, Law Council, UMN Law 

Zanna Tennant, 2L, UMN Law, MJLST 

Ian Mallery, 1L, NLG, UMN LAW

Tessa Wright, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Julia Silverstein, 2L, PCTLA, UMN Law

Kathryn Quinlan, 3L, CJP, UST Law

Jess Palyan, 3L, CJP, UST Law

Rachel Pokrzywinski, 3L, JLI, UMN Law

Katherine Chen, 3L, APALSA, PCTLA, UMN Law

Ayesha Mitha, 2L, SALSA, MLSA, UMN Law

Katherine Bogart, 1L, UST Law

Linnea VanPilsum-Bloom, 3L, JLI, UMN Law

1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Kaitlyn Falk, 3L, UMN Law

Sarah Davidson, 1L, UST Law

Anna Barton, 2L, ARA, CJP, FGLSA, ILSA, WLSA, UST Law

Gabi Bartlett, 2L, ARA, ELS, WLSA, UST Law

Meghan Holden, 3L, Mitchell Hamline

2L, UST Law

Alex Jones 1L, WBI, UMN

Lily Hastings, 2L, First-Gen Law, WLSA, Outlaw, MJF, ARA, UST Law

Sovay Anderberg 2L UMN Law

Emily Newman, 3L, UMN Law

Mirtha Montoya, 2L, LLSA, UST Law 

Madi Dale, 3L, UMN Law

Shonice Pooniwala, 2L, Transfer Representative, UMN Law 

Giuseppe Tumminello 1L, EELS, LLSA, UMN Law

1L, OUTLaw, UMN Law

Abbie Maier, 3L, JLI, UMN Law

Sarah Coleman, 2L, JLSA, WLSA, Outlaw, JLI, UMN Law

Margaret Behen, LLM, WLSA, UMN Law

Eleanor Khirallah, 2L, UMN Law

Mara Sybesma, 3L, UMN Law

Sarah Brickson, 2L, ALP, UMN Law

Christiane Dos Santos, 3L, CJP, LLSA, UST Law

Srishtee Dear, 2L, WOCC, UMN Law

3L, EELS, TORT, UMN Law

Gabriela McCormack, 2L, LLSA, ARA, UST Law

Grace Moore, 2L, JLI, UMN Law

Spencer Rojas, 1L, LLSA, UMN Law

Andrew Biddison, 2L, OutLaw, JLI, UMN Law

Josie Rosene, 3L, CJP, UST Law

Sarah Murtada, 3L. CJP, UST Law

Payton Yahn, 3L, UST Law

Jocelyn Rimes, 2L, BLSA, JLI, UMN Law

Haley Wallace, 2L, OutLaw, UMN Law

Bailey Martin, 2L, JLI, CJL, UMN Law

Cedar Weyker, 2L, JLI, UMN Law

Natalie Dess, 1L, NLG, NUSL

Alexa Johnson-Gomez, 1L, MJF Board, UMN Law

Anne Bolgert, 3L, JLI, UMN Law

Megan L. Stembridge, 3L, UMN Law

Sharon Beck, 3L, JLI, Outlaw, WLSA, UMN Law

Taylor Steele, 1L, CJL, UMN Law

Tyler Blackmon, 1L, ACS, UMN Law

Evelyn Doran, 1L, WLSA, Outlaw, If/When/How, Law Council 1L Representative, UMN Law

Rachel Pretti, 1L, EELS, WLSA, UMN Law

Layni Sprouse, 2L, JLI, WLSA, UMN Law

Claire Colby, 2L, UMN Law

Michael Splendore, 3L, UMN Law

Kenneth Cooper, 2L, JLI, UMN Law

Tori Kee, J.D., Staff Attorney UST Law

Cassie Buehler, 3L, ACLU, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Lexie Robinson, 2L, UMN Law

The Anti-Racism Alliance, UST Law

Morgan Twamley, 3L, UST Law

Lena Brakel, 3L, UST Law

Reghan Lynch, 3L, UST Law

Alayna O’Bryan, 2L, ALP, CJL, UMN Law

Yemaya Hanna, 3L, BLSA, UMN Law

Eve Grabau, 1L, UMN Law

Berina Altshuler, 3L, UST Law

Laura Milstein, 2L, UMN Law

Leah Nowak, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Jennifer Melton, 2L Representative Law Council, UMN Law

Melissa Watton, 2L, MJF Student Chapter, UMN Law

Hannah Schacherl, 2L, WLSA, UMN Law

Arianna Fjelstad, 1L, ARA, UST Law

Haille Laws, 3L, Law Council, UMN Law

Ajang Ekinde, 1L, BLSA, UST Law

Zoe Psiakis, 3L, UMN Law

Tony Sanchez, 2L, U

Skylar Peyton, IL, UST Law

Kaylyn Stanek, 2L, UMN Law

Evan Dale, 1L, NLG, UMN Law

Abby Ward, 1L, UMN Law

Hayley Steele, 2L, UMN Law

Marra Clay, 3L, UMN Law

Kalen Best, 2L, CJP, WLSA, MJF, CLA, UST Law

Emanual Williams, 2L, BLSA, UMN Law

Julia Brady, 3L, UMN Law 

Jessica Bontemps, 3L, BLSA – UMN Law

River Lord, 3L, UMN Law

Austin Northagen, 2L, UST Law 

Shaylma Salinas, 1L, UST Law

Eva Kendrick, 3L, MJF, UST Law

Mallory Harrington, 2L, BLSA, JLI, UMN Law

Sara Witty, 3L, UMN Law

Sean Smallwood, 2L, UST Law

Sarah Phillips, 1L, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Lanie Krause, 2L, WLSA, UMN Law

Jake Polinsky, 2L, JLI, JLSA, UMN Law

Breanna Ohl, 1L, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

William Myers, 1L, ACS, UMN Law

Emma Peterson, 2L, UMN Law

Lindsay Maher, 1L, UMN Law

Sara Engemann, 2L, ELS, Moot Court, UST Law

Mason Medeiros, 2L, EELS, UMN Law

Jacque Randolph, 1L, UMN Law

Ellen Morrissey, 2L, WLSA, UST Law

Anna Brekke, 2L, UST Law

Ashley Lundin, 2L UST Law

Javier Romay, 2L, UST Law

Jake Brekke, 2L, UMN Law

Emily Nielsen, 3L, UST  Law

Leslie Bellwood, 3L, TORT, WLSA, UMN Law

Francesca O’Neill, 3L, UST Law

Hanna Weil, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Grace Anderson, 2L, JLI, OutLaw, UMN Law 

Gordon Unzen, 1L, NLG, UMN Law

Abby Frerick, 1L, NLG, SELLA, UMN LAW

Olivia Carroll, 2L, EELS, MLR, UMN Law

Ellen Brady, 2L, UMN Law

Elena Modl, 3L, SALSA, WLSA, UMN Law

Kailee Martens, 3L, OutLaw, UMN Law

Jamie Smith, 1L, UMN LAW

Toni Hoffer, 1L, UST Law

Alexandria Yakes, 3L, UMN Law

Xavier Roberts, MPP Candidate, Duke University

Cierra Johnson, 1L, UMN Law

Lauren Butler, 1L, WLSA, UMN Law

Vanessa Hird, 2L, UMN Law

Timothy Lee, 1L, NLA, PSG, OutLaw, UMN Law

Michaela McNichol, 1L, Outlaw, WLSA, UMN Law

Katja Lange, 2L, UMN Law

Madison Wadsworth, 2L, UMN Law

Carly Michaud, 3L, HLBA, UMN Law

Mollie Wagoner, 3L, MLR, UMN Law

Dominic Detwiler, 1L, UMN Law 

Andrew Nicotra Reilly, 2L,  UMN Law

Thor Hawrey, 3L JLI, UMN Law

Ambika Patpatia, 1L, ALP, UMN Law

Avram D. Scarlett, HSOCA

Olivia Fried, 1L, UMN Law, Outlaw, ALP

Madyson Turner, 2L, UMN Law

Joshua Hamel, 3L, TORT, Law Council, UMN Law

Jackie Cuellar, 2L, HLBA, UMN Law

Alex Feltes, 2L, UMN Law

Jordan Lee, 2L, UST Law

Abbey Kost, 2L, UST Law

University of Minnesota Black Law Student Association

The University of Minnesota Black Law Student Association exists to promote diversity in the legal profession and encourage the academic and professional success of Black law students at the University...