Roseville superintendent blames ‘institutionalized racism’ for Amir Locke’s death

Locke was shot after he drew a gun on a SWAT team raiding his apartment in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Superintendent Jenny Loeck read her message to families out loud at a Feb. 8 school board meeting. (Roseville Area Schools/YouTube)

The superintendent of Roseville Area Schools is pointing the finger at “institutionalized racism” for the death of Amir Locke.

In a letter to families and staff, Superintendent Jenny Loeck expressed sorrow at the shooting deaths of both Locke and Jahmari Rice, a 15-year-old student at the South Education Center in Richfield who was shot on school grounds by another student.

Locke was shot after he drew a gun on a SWAT team raiding his apartment in Minneapolis earlier this month. He later died at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Superintendent Loeck — who lamented the “senseless loss of young black men to violence” during so-called Black History Month — said Locke’s death draws attention to the persistence of “institutionalized racism.”

“Amir’s death continues to shine a light on the grim reality that institutionalized racism, embedded in policies and procedures, too often results in fatal outcomes for young black people, leaving moms and dads without their children, and children without their parents,” she wrote.

Loeck then concluded with an obligatory boilerplate on the district’s commitment to “equity” and “anti-racism.”

“In Roseville Area Schools, we remain committed to providing an equitable education for all students,” she wrote. “We remain committed to anti-racism and to calling out and changing racist policies and practices when we see them. This is the work that we must do together, and continue to do for the sake of our students.”

Roseville is a Twin Cities suburb located in Ramsey County. In August of last year Alpha News reported on the principal of a Roseville elementary school calling traditional gender views “bigoted bullshit.”

When a resident expressed disagreement with a Facebook post written by Ryan Vernosh, principal of Brimhall Elementary School, that encouraged children to use a transgender’s preferred pronouns, Vernosh retorted by saying, “Take your bigoted bullshit off my timeline.”


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.