Council member called out of order after falsely accusing police of murdering Amir Locke

She accused the council vice president of censoring her because her beliefs don't align with the "conservative establishment" of city government.

Self-proclaimed socialist Minneapolis City Council Member Robin Wonsley was called out of order in a recent meeting after she falsely claimed that Amir Locke was “murdered” by police. (City of Minneapolis/YouTube)

Self-proclaimed socialist Minneapolis City Council Member Robin Wonsley was called out of order in a recent meeting after she falsely claimed that Amir Locke was “murdered” by police.

“Last year, when Amir Locke was murdered by an MPD officer, I was disgusted to see MPD knowingly leaked pictures of his gun to manipulate public perception and paint Amir Locke as a criminal in order to hide their deadly actions,” Wonsley said.

A point of order was called by the council vice president, Linea Palmisano, who said the discussion had stepped far beyond the topic of homeless encampments.

“Council vice president, you are literally censoring my discussion,” Wonsley responded. She then went on to accuse Palmisano of intentionally censoring people of color.

“Council vice president, you have a pattern and practice of doing these very troubling things of censoring people of color and council members of color and it’s very troubling that you’re doing this right now,” Wonsley said. She accused Palmisano of censoring her because her beliefs don’t align with the “conservative establishment” of city government.

Locke was killed in February 2022 after he emerged from a blanket holding a gun when police were executing a search warrant. After a review, former Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Attorney General Keith Ellison jointly declined to file charges against the officer who shot Locke.

Earlier in the discussion, Wonsley alleged that evicting homeless encampments is about turning Minneapolis into a “playground for the rich”.

She criticized the city’s efforts to evict homeless encampments, implying that evictions are racist because they push “out black and brown and poor folks”.

She then berated city staff who were presenting strategies for dealing with homelessness, calling their presentation disturbing. “I no longer feel comfortable using the term ‘subject experts’ regarding city staff if they are going to participate in stonewalling information needed for policy change,” Wonsley said.

“Staff chose images that were meant to generalize our unhoused residents as criminals,” she added.

During the meeting, one City Council member outlined some safety concerns that homeless encampments have presented. “Children … cannot enjoy any number of the joys of children because of discarded needles, broken glass, random violence in the neighborhood,” Jamal Osman said. “Encampments create health and safety concerns.”

Wonsley said in a statement following the meeting that city staff were justifying “brutalizing unsheltered people.”

“On Tuesday, instead of giving the Council a comprehensive analysis with substantive evidence-based recommendations or approaches, we were given a presentation advancing a political narrative to justify brutalizing unsheltered people,” Wonsley said.

She claimed the city of Minneapolis is “publicly committing to a violent approach to homelessness”.

Homelessness has been a growing issue in Minneapolis, with encampments popping back up as fast as the city attempts to evict them.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.