Mpls Cop Charged in Death of Bystander While In Pursuit
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has charged Minneapolis police officer Brian Cummings with second degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Leneal Frazier.
Feven Gerezgiher reports:
On Friday Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged Minneapolis police officer Brian Cummings with second degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Leneal Frazier.
“Officers have got to know if they are as brazen and as negligent as Officer Cummings, at least as long as I’m here, they’re going to get charged,” said Freeman.
The county attorney said Cummings was in pursuit of a stolen vehicle near midnight, driving at high speeds for more than 20 blocks through residential streets of North Minneapolis. The attorney says he ran a red light and slammed into the driver’s side of Frazier’s car at nearly 80 mph, killing him.
“That’s tragic. That’s criminal. That’s why we charged,” said Freeman.
Freeman said the drivers of the stolen vehicle were never apprehended. He also said that pursuits have led to 40 fatalities in Minnesota in the last 10 years.
Freeman is now calling on the Minneapolis Police Department to change its policies around pursuits.
Mitchell-Hamline law professor Rick Petry found the news unexpected.
“For a long time, it seemed like the county attorney in Hennepin County didn’t charge police officers, no matter what they did,” he said. “So there seems to be a change in the tide for whatever reason.”
Petry said MPD has clear policies indicating pursuits should not continue when they endanger public safety.
“Policies are important, but even more important than the policies are the enforcement of the policy,” said Petry. “And that’s been one of the big challenges in the Minneapolis Police Department for as long as I can remember is holding people accountable when they violate the law, or if they violate police policies.”
Petry said Cummings faces up to 10 years in jail.
(audio credit: KARE 11)
Subscribe to hear Daily Updates in your podcast feed
- Jury Selection Proceeds Quickly in Kim Potter TrialThursday, the Hennepin County court seated the last three jurors for the trial of the former Brooklyn Center police officer charged in the death of Daunte Wright. The court still needs to seat two alternate jurors before it can begin testimony. Feven Gere
- Jury Selection Continues in Potter Trial; Motorist Drives Through ProtestThe court now has 9 of the 12 jurors needed. Meanwhile a motorist drove through a crowd gathered in solidarity with Daunte Wright’s family. Feven Gerezgiher reports
- Jury Selection Begins in Kim Potter TrialFour jurors were confirmed: two white males (one in his 20s and another in his 50s), an Asian woman in her 40s and one white woman in her 60s. Chioma Uwagwu reports.
- Trial of Kim Potter Begins With Jury SelectionPotter is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter after she shot Daunte Wright on April 11 during a traffic stop. Wright’s family and community leaders held a press conference Monday afternoon to demand Potter be held accountable. Georgia Fort r