Ex-Minneapolis police officer sentenced to workhouse for high-speed crash that killed St. Paul man

13 July 2023

A former Minneapolis police officer was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in the county workhouse for a high-speed pursuit that killed an innocent St. Paul motorist.

Brian Michael Cummings, 39, pleaded guilty in April to criminal vehicular homicide in the July 6 crash that killed 40-year-old Leneal Lamont Frazier. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

Frazier was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, whose cellphone video of George Floyd’s May 2020 murder at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked a wave of global protests against racial injustice.

The sentence by Hennepin County District Judge Tamara Garcia was a downward departure from state sentencing guidelines.

On the night of the crash, Cummings attempted to stop a Kia Sportage SUV he believed was stolen in North Minneapolis, the criminal complaint said. The driver sped away from Cummings, who pursued for 20 blocks at speeds that reached roughly 100 mph through residential neighborhoods.

As Cummings pursued the SUV up Lyndale Avenue with his squad car’s lights and sirens activated, he drove through a red light at 41st Avenue and struck Frazier’s Jeep SUV at roughly 78 mph, the complaint said. Frazier died at a hospital.

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