Criminal charges were filed against a Minneapolis police officer whose car struck and killed the uncle of Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed the murder of George Floyd.
On Friday (Oct. 22), prosecutors in Hennepin County indicted Officer Brian Cummings with manslaughter and vehicular homicide for the July 6 death of Leneal Frazier, whose vehicle was hit by Cummings’ police car. According to the Minneapolis Police Department, the collision occurred while the police were trying to catch a person who was allegedly driving a stolen vehicle and involved in a string of robberies.
Frazier’s Jeep reportedly entered an intersection during a green light and the robbery suspect’s car slightly missed his. However, he was struck on his driver’s side by Cummings’ automobile.
According to Forbes, an accident reconstruction report concluded that Cummings failed “to operate his vehicle with due regard for the safety of other motorists.”
“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 in a statement. “Officer Cummings’ actions deviated from his oath and his negligence caused the death of Leneal Frazier.”
Back in July, Darnella, who was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize “for courageously recording” the murder of Floyd, took to Facebook to mourn the loss of her uncle. “Another Black man lost his life in the hands of the police!” she wrote. “Minneapolis police has cost my whole family a big loss.”
She also shared a GoFundMe link for people to donate money to assist with Frazier’s funeral costs.
“Leneal was a family-oriented person with a good heart, the biggest heart a person could ever have. He would help anyone, anytime no matter the circumstances,” the page for the crowdfunding site read. “He was the father of [six] children and [one] grandchild. He was the oldest of [five] siblings, so of course, he was their protector. He loved his family and friends. He loves to cook and bbq and to just spend as much time with his family as possible. He was one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.”