A Minnesota police officer is facing criminal charges in connection with a high-speed chase that killed the uncle of Darnella Frazier, who was thrown into the spotlight after she recorded the officer-involved death of George Floyd on Memorial Day last year.
Minneapolis Police Officer Brian Cummings is facing one count of second-degree manslaughter and one of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Leneal Frazier, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced on Friday.
Minneapolis Officer Brian Cummings
According to the criminal complaint, Cummings was pursuing a stolen vehicle on July 6 when his cruiser slammed into the driver’s side of Frazier’s Jeep at around 80 mph. He died as a result of injuries sustained during the crash.
In the moments before the deadly collision, officials said Cummings raced through stop signs, red lights, and partially obstructed intersections “at or approaching 100 mph.”
“Police are supposed to protect and serve citizens, and to act in a manner consistent with their sworn oath to do so,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said “Officer Cummings’ actions deviated from his oath and his negligence caused the death of Leneal Frazier.”
FILE – in this July 7 photo, items rest at a memorial for Leneal Lamont Frazier, in Minneapolis, at the site of his death. (Antranik Tavitian/)
Frazier, a St. Paul resident, was a father of five as well as the uncle of Darnella Frazier, who was recently awarded a Pulitzer Prize after she captured 46-year-old Floyd’s interaction with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The devastating cell phone clip, ultimately shared online, sparked widespread backlash and is credited with invigorating thousands of protesters, many of who took to the streets and demanded justice for Floyd.
Chauvin, recorded kneeling down on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was sentenced in June for more than 22 years in prison.
FILE – In the July 9 photo, from left, Cheryl Frazier, sister of Leneal Frazier; Orlando Frazier, brother of Leneal; and Jamie Bradford,, daughter of Leneal, embrace one another during a news conference outside of City Hall in Minneapolis. (Antranik Tavitian/)
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Leneal Frazier’s family in a statement released on Friday commended the district attorney’s office for bringing charges against the officer.
“No innocent civilian should ever lose their life because of unwarranted high-speed chases in residential neighborhoods,” he said.
“This case shines a light on how far we have to go in the pursuit of safe and just policing in America. High-speed pursuit policies in Minneapolis and across America must be better written and stringently enforced to protect innocent civilians.”Internet Explorer Channel Network