Murder By Any Other Name

The Minneapolis Police Department murdered Amir Locke, within ten seconds of silently entering an apartment he was sleeping in.

This is the fact, no matter how much the department wants you to believe that the ambush was more of a conflict: by slowing down the one reel of body camera footage they presented to the public (make no mistake, it was only ten seconds), by posting pictures of a supposedly loaded handgun and providing it to the press before even releasing said video (as though a citizen with a badge and a title also somehow acquires x-ray vision and can tell whether or not a firearm is loaded, and with what kind of ammunition), by repeatedly telling the public that the victim was a suspect (when his name was never on the warrant, and he didn’t even live at the apartment that was raided).

It has been just over 48 hours and M.P.D. has already weaved an intricate web of lies, and will undoubtedly continue to do so as those hours tick up. This is nothing new, just the latest in a string of bodies M.P.D. will continue to use to reel in their blood money from the city. In Minneapolis, a city where buildings burned and pedantic words and feel-good phrases began to seep into the public lexicon; defund, reform, justice. And yet, within the same city not only were reforms never implemented, a majority of residents decided it wasn’t worth even trying to reform, or that said reform might make them slightly uncomfortable.

As human beings, we all lean away from discomfort; no one wants to have a difficult conversation, no one wants to accept a risk and a loss. The Locke family will not be given that choice, and it is not an accident. A young life has been tragically taken in the same way far too many others have been, victims of the same system that chooses, again and again, that the life of another human being is worthless if it so much as theoretically threatens the well-being of agents of the state. The same state that swathes of well-to-do white people will claim is oppressing them, that they have the right to rebel against, that they have the right to take arms against.

The claims of the state get repeated and put on replay by the same media outlets who are, supposedly, independent. At what point does mindlessly echoing the words of a specific organization make those doing the communicating little more than propagandist tools for said organization?

The message the M.P.D. is pushing, and has been pushing, is clear; unless you acquiesce to our authority, we will always be safe from you but you will never be safe from us. There are no ‘good apples’ in a system where the end goal is annihilation of all that would dare say a word against them, or simply exist and look a certain way.

A system built on pillars of blood and flesh cannot be changed by simple masonry. It must be torn down, piece by piece, and never rebuilt. There is no getting back lives lost, and they were not ‘sacrificed’ as though they had elected to be martyrs. They are gone. We will never get to hear the rest of their story, whether that story be something easy to triumph or that of human fallibility. Like so many others- those killed by the state or those who simply have had life taken from them by incarceration, inescapable poverty, or relentless pursuit — these stories have been lost.

An individual cannot bring those stories back, or simply will the system to stop working as intended. It takes many organizing, willing to make sacrifices and live with discomfort for the greater good of all rather than the greater good of self. It may not happen within our lifetimes, or the next generation’s lifetimes. It will not be easy or fashionable. It is also the only way to move forward.

It can start easily enough, and with accepting a plain truth, regardless of how hard M.P.D. will try and spin it:

The Minneapolis Police Department murdered Amir Locke.

Do not forget this.

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J.J.

J.J. writes about sports, video games, social movements and a variety of other things. Also tells bad dad jokes.