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Monday, December 6, 2021

Minneapolis cop charged in high-speed crash that killed harmless motorist

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A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide for a crash in July that killed an harmless motorist whereas the officer was pursuing a stolen car, prosecutors mentioned Friday.

Officer Brian Cummings was driving practically 80 mph in Minneapolis along with his siren and lights activated when his squad automobile slammed into one other car, killing 40-year-old Leneal Frazier, Hennepin County Legal professional Mike Freeman mentioned in a press release.

The crash ended a chase that spanned greater than 20 blocks and roared by means of residential neighborhoods the place the posted velocity restrict is 25 mph.

“Police are supposed to guard and serve residents and to behave in a fashion per their sworn oath to take action. Officer Cummings’ actions deviated from his oath and his negligence precipitated the loss of life of Leneal Frazier,” Freeman mentioned.

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 on this July 7, 2021 file photograph, Objects relaxation at a memorial for Leneal Lamont Frazier, in Minneapolis, on the website of his loss of life. Frazier died early Tuesday, July 6, after his car was struck by a squad automobile that police mentioned was pursuing one other driver linked to a number of robberies. A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular murder in a deadly crash in July that occurred whereas the officer was pursuing a stolen car, a prosecutor introduced Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Antranik Tavitian/Star Tribune through AP File)
(Antranik Tavitian/Star Tribune through AP File)

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Throughout Cummings’ chase, Frazier’s Jeep entered an intersection on a inexperienced gentle. Based on investigators, the motive force of the stolen car narrowly missed the Jeep earlier than the squad automobile struck it on the motive force’s aspect. 

An accident reconstruction report mentioned the deadly collision “may be attributed to the Defendant for failure to function his car with due regard for the protection of different motorists.”

Mayor Jacob Frey mentioned after Frazier’s loss of life that town would overview its police pursuit coverage, and that overview was nonetheless ongoing Friday. 

A police spokesman mentioned in the summertime that the coverage wasn’t violating through the chase, however prosecutors clearly disagree.

They cited the coverage of their assertion: “Officers shall not provoke a pursuit or shall terminate a pursuit in progress if the pursuit poses an unreasonable danger to the officers, the general public or passengers of the car being pursued who could also be unwilling members.”

Cummings’ lawyer, Tom Plunkett, mentioned the officer was pursuing a suspect in a “violent carjacking” and that the occupants had been “on a criminal offense spree, a follow that has sadly change into too widespread in Minneapolis.”

The town’s police union did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Frazier was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, whose cellphone video of Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was considered worldwide and helped launch a world protest motion in opposition to racial injustice. Chauvin was convicted of homicide and sentenced this 12 months in Floyd’s 2020 loss of life.

In the July 9, 2021 file 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. Leneal Frazier was killed earlier in the week after his vehicle was struck by a squad car that police said was pursuing another driver linked to several robberies. Frazier was not involved in the pursuit. A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide in a fatal crash in July that occurred while the officer was pursuing a stolen vehicle, a prosecutor announced Friday, Oct. 22. (Antranik Tavitian/Star Tribune via AP File)

Within the July 9, 2021 file photograph, from left, Cheryl Frazier, sister of Leneal Frazier; Orlando Frazier, brother of Leneal; and Jamie Bradford,, daughter of Leneal, embrace each other throughout a information convention exterior of Metropolis Corridor in Minneapolis. Leneal Frazier was killed earlier within the week after his car was struck by a squad automobile that police mentioned was pursuing one other driver linked to a number of robberies. Frazier was not concerned within the pursuit. A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular murder in a deadly crash in July that occurred whereas the officer was pursuing a stolen car, a prosecutor introduced Friday, Oct. 22. (Antranik Tavitian/Star Tribune through AP File)
(22. (Antranik Tavitian/Star Tribune through AP File)

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The Frazier household, which had referred to as for Cummings to be prosecuted, welcomed the costs as a primary step towards justice, in keeping with their legal professionals, Ben Crump and Jeff Storms.

“The Frazier household and our authorized staff are grateful for the costs introduced in opposition to Brian Cummings for the reckless killing of Leneal Frazier,” they mentioned in a press release. “We commend the Hennepin County Legal professional’s Workplace for having the braveness to carry legislation enforcement accountable on this occasion. No harmless civilian ought to ever lose their life due to unwarranted high-speed chases in residential neighborhoods.”

Each prices in opposition to Cummings carry a presumptive jail sentence of 4 years underneath state sentencing pointers. Jail information present he was launched on his personal recognizance and has a listening to set for Nov. 9.

The division’s coverage guide permits pursuits for “severe and violent crimes.” together with theft, and “flagrantly reckless driving that’s life-threatening to the general public.” The prison criticism mentioned the stolen car was suspected in thefts from companies that concerned “some restricted use of drive” however none involving weapons or resulted in accidents. Chases for easy auto theft aren’t allowed.

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Freeman made a contemporary plea Friday for legislation enforcement throughout the state to vary their pursuit insurance policies, saying they do not do sufficient to guard human life. He mentioned responses to earlier criticism had been “weak and ineffective.” He mentioned Minnesota businesses reported 40 deadly accidents ensuing from pursuits from 2013-2020.

“This should cease,” Freeman said. “Pursuits should be reserved for under essentially the most severe crimes and {cases}.”

The costs in opposition to Cummings got here a day after former Minneapolis police Officer Mohamed Noor was resentenced on a manslaughter cost within the 2017 loss of life of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who was shot minutes after she had referred to as 911 to report a doable sexual assault within the alley behind her dwelling. Additionally they got here forward of a Nov. 2 vote through which Minneapolis residents will determine whether or not to exchange town’s police division with a brand new public security unit.



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