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No Justice for Amir Locke

Plus new no-knock policies, a city-sanctioned encampment proposal, and a million-dollar Humane Society donation in today's Flyover.

Chad Davis

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Amir Locke’s Killer Won’t be Charged

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced this morning they will not bring charges against the MPD officer who shot and killed Amir Locke in February. “Amir Locke was not a suspect in the underlying Saint Paul criminal investigation nor was he named in the search warrants,” a joint statement from the two reads. “Amir Locke is a victim. This tragedy may not have occurred absent the no-knock warrant used in this case.” Here comes the massive but: “After a thorough review of all available evidence, however, there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case. Specifically, the State would be unable to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of Minnesota’s use-of-deadly-force statute that authorizes the use of force by Officer Hanneman.” [Deep, frustrated sigh.] And speaking of no-knock warrants…

No Knock, No Teeth

On Tuesday, Mayor Jacob Frey issued a special order which states Minneapolis police can no longer apply for and/or execute no-knock search warrants. Here comes another but: The new policy doesn’t matter if it’s determined that there are “exigent circumstances.” As CNN reports, the policy is not a “ban,” and those circumstances include, but apparently are not limited to: when immediate entry is required to prevent imminent harm or issue emergency aid, to prevent imminent destruction of evidence, or if officers are in hot pursuit of a suspect. (Remember, these are the same warrants Frey already said he banned.) Coincidentally, the Washington Post today launched a six-part podcast, Broken Doors, one of the most in-depth investigations yet into “how no-knock warrants are deployed in the American justice system—and what happens when accountability is flawed at every level.”

Phillips Neighbors Ask: What If We Didn’t Bulldoze Homeless Camps?

Homeless encampments and the people who reside in them face complex problems, and forcibly evicting an area solves none of them. With that in mind, residents of Minneapolis’s Phillips neighborhood are asking the city to consider sanctioned zones where unhoused individuals can live. Their proposal would employ the Safe Outside Space (SOS) model, which has been used across the country in around three dozen cities. Twin Cities Recovery Project has already agreed to run the sites, which would also have resources available regarding hygiene, addiction, and other common issues. Care would also be taken with regards to placement, meaning camps wouldn’t be set up near schools, community corridors, residential areas, or playgrounds. Mayor Jacob Frey is dubious of the proposal, however, and he and other opponents have voiced concerns that an SOS program wouldn’t work in a colder climate like Minnesota—even though there are sites in problematic weather locales like Wisconsin, Colorado, and Washington, and even though plenty of people live outdoors in encampments year round as it is.

Twin Cities Animal Humane Society Scores $1M Donation

Hot take? The only millionaires this country needs are dogs. Now we’re one step closer to this utopian reality, as some super amazing human has given $1 million to help our gentle canine friends. The Twin Cities Animal Humane Society announced today that a regular supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, has made it rain for the nonprofit, which has locations in Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, and Woodbury, plus a veterinary training program in St. Paul. The funds will go toward a new adoption and care center planned for St. Paul. According to AHS, the organization takes in around 22,000 animals a year—more than all other Twin Cities organizations combined. Most importantly, 94% of those animals make it into foster/forever homes.