Vigil for Amir Locke held amid continued calls for racial justice


Sophie Whitten | @sophiewhitten_

Protestors shield their candles from the wind during a protest in memory of Amir Locke Feb. 27, 2022 at Turley Park in Carbondale, Ill.

People in the Carbondale community gathered on Feb. 27 to remember Amir Locke, a 22 year-old Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police executing a no-knock warrant on Feb. 2.

“It’s sad to me that we’re here again after we did this for George Floyd, we all have to come together like we’re doing tonight,” said Chastity Mays, the director of A Gift of Love Charity.

Social justice activists need to speak out against atrocities and keep uniting over the needs of the community, she said 


Nancy Maxwell, the director of Carbondale United said, “Are you aware that it’s been three years since Breonna Taylor, 10 years since Trayvon Martin, 63 years since Emmett Till and still there’s no justice.” 

“I have a goal that the only marching we will do is in a band in a parade. I have a goal that there will not be a need for counseling or funeral arrangements [for] a traffic stop,” Maxwell said. 

Maxwell said, “I have a goal that victims of the system like Amir Locke, and so many others get real justice and not watered down injustice.”

Autumn Mays, daughter of Chastity Mays, read an original poem dedicated to Amir Locke’s memory.

“Amir is gone but never forgotten. Again we have to say ‘Rest in peace Amir’ […],” Autumn Mays said. 

She said her generation is here to make it a better place for the next.

“We don’t want any more Amir Lockes, we don’t want no-knock warrants anymore, we honestly just want the world to be a just place,” Autumn Mays said.  


That sentiment was echoed by Ashley Harvey, a third year Southern Illinois University (SIU) student majoring in civil engineering who is in the process of starting a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter at SIU. 

Harvey said the current generation is going to be relentless and will rise up to give voice to people who don’t have theirs anymore, she said.

“Standing with your community matters, being present every day, and focusing on that here, that moment that you’re living in, it matters,” Harvey said.

Staff reporter Joel Kottman can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter: @JoelKottman 

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