As an organization that promotes Black entrepreneurship, NEON understands that the most valuable resource in our community is our people — that we are the engine for innovation — and that our success depends on the ideas, innovation and energy of our entrepreneurs. Amir Locke, as described by his parents in a Star Tribune video, was just such an entrepreneur – a young man who earned money working as a DoorDash driver so he could pursue his larger goals of helping youth.
In solidarity with our colleagues at the Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC), NEON condemns the senseless murder of Amir Locke by the Minneapolis Police Department. This event is particularly egregious coming on the heels of the police killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright. The execution of a no-knock warrant leading to the murder of a 22-year-old Black man who was completely innocent with no criminal record, is further evidence that the internal workings of our police force are desperately broken and in need of immediate and drastic reform. We call for an end to no-knock warrants.
Karen Wells and Andre Locke remember their 22-year-old son as respectful, curious and law abiding. “My son Amir was a good kid,” says his father in the video. “My son Amir was an entrepreneur.” His mother tearfully describes how she helped her younger son purchase his LLC. She then vows she will seek justice on behalf of Amir and others in our community who fear encounters with police.
To the entrepreneurs we serve, we want to let you know we are here for you. Our Business Advisors are committed to standing with you as you navigate the challenges and grief that stems from ongoing racialized trauma.
Below is a short list of resources that may be helpful at this time:
Tips for Survivors: Coping with Grief After Community Violence – SAMHSA
Minnesota IBOPC Health & Wellness Providers – MN Healing Justice Network
Tips for Parents and Caregivers on Media Coverage of Traumatic Events – National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Cultural Wellness Directory – local, culturally and trauma informed wellness services
Healing from Racial Trauma Resource List – Center for Wellness & Counseling, Augsburg University
Resources in the Wake of Community Trauma and Beyond – Minnesota Department of Health
Caring for Yourself to Care for Others – Vicarious Trauma and Burnout Toolkit
Amir Locke #sayhisname