news·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Amir Locke, Canada, and Julia Marino

A demonstrator holds a photo of Amir Locke during a rally in protest of his killing
Getty Images
Feb 7, 2022

Amir Locke

The Story

Minneapolis is mourning the death of Amir Locke.

Tell me. 

Last week, police were carrying out a no-knock raid in Minneapolis, MN. After police entered, they shot and killed Amir Locke — a 22-year-old Black man — who appeared to be sleeping on a couch. Body cam video shows it all unfolded in a matter of seconds. When officers entered the apartment, they say they saw Locke holding a gun (which Locke's family says he had legal possession of) and opened fire. Locke died later at a hospital.

Why did police enter the apartment?

A SWAT team was searching for someone connected to a homicide in St. Paul. They had a no-knock warrant. But Locke wasn’t named on the warrant and didn’t even live in the apartment. Officials haven’t released the details of the warrant or said if Locke was connected to the investigation.

What’s a ‘no-knock’ warrant?

It’s a special kind that allows officers to enter a property without announcing themselves. The goal is to not give people time to react. But they've become controversial in recent years because of the high risk (think: of property damage or death). It’s the same kind of warrant officers used that resulted in the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor.

This all went down in Minneapolis?

The same city where George Floyd died at the hands of police officers in 2020. In the months after Floyd’s death, Mayor Jacob Frey (D) issued new requirements for no-knock warrants (think: officers announcing presence and purpose before entering). But the policies haven't stopped police from using them in certain situations. 

So what now?

On Friday, Frey announced the use of no-knock warrants would be suspended in Minneapolis. Protesters still gathered in the city over the weekend, demanding justice. The county attorney’s office is investigating the shooting. But activists said police didn’t give Locke a chance to disarm himself during those chaotic moments. Locke’s mother has vowed to “fight every day” to make sure there is justice for her son. 

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It’s been almost two years since Breonna Taylor was killed by police. Since then, the Justice Dept has taken action to limit use of no-knock warrants but Congress failed to pass national police reform legislation. And the result is an estimated 20,000-80,000 no-knock warrants per year — some of which have turned deadly.

And Also...This

Where things are still tense…

Canada. Yesterday, the country’s capital declared a state of emergency following protests. Last month, thousands of people and truckers started blockading Parliament to demand an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. They're calling themselves the “Freedom Convoy" and protest by blasting horns and setting off fireworks. But the protests have evolved to include Confederate and Nazi flags. For 10 days, they've essentially shut down the capital. And have even earned support from US figures like former President Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Now, the mayor says authorities are “outnumbered” and warns the chaos could devolve into violence. He called it "the most serious emergency our city has ever faced."

  • NoFundMe: The truckers have been supported through millions of dollars in donations. Now, GoFundMe is cutting them off and refunding donors — saying the protests violate their terms for promotion of violence and harassment.

Who’s giving feedback…

The RNC. On Friday, it censured Reps. Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) — the only two Republicans on the committee investigating the Jan 6 insurrection. GOP members are accusing them of persecuting "ordinary citizens" involved in "legitimate political discourse." And yes, that language is describing the thousands of people who stormed the Capitol, stole and damaged federal property, tried to disrupt the election process, and threatened the lives of public officials. It’s a move signaling the Republican Party’s enduring allegiance to former President Trump — as he teases a 2024 run. But not all Republicans are buying it. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) reprimanded the party for its decision and praised Cheney and Kinzinger for “seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.”

Why ‘beware of the plastics’ was good advice...

BPAs. A review of recent studies found that the average American is exposed to 5,000 times the level of BPAs that the EU considers safe. BPAs — aka ‘bisphenol A.’ It’s a chemical used to make hard plastics and coatings for things like water bottles and canned goods. And they’re not good for you. Exposure has been linked to cancer, fertility issues, neurological problems, and more. Last month, the FDA received a petition calling on them to set strict limits on its use in plastics that contact food. And now has 180 days to respond. 

  • That’ll do it: If you’re not waiting on the FDA to take action, there are options. Look for 'BPA-free' cans. On the bottom of plastic containers, you might see the symbol ‘3’ or ‘7’ — that could mean it has BPA. And if you’re one of the zillions of people who made ‘drink more water’ their New Year’s resolution, a glass or stainless steel bottle could be safer.

Who’s realizing what goes on the internet stays on the internet…

Joe Rogan. And no, Spotify still has no plans to cut him off.

While Camilla will one day get to call herself ‘queen consort’...

Julia Marino gets the silver now.

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