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Frey says MPD's pursuit policy will be reviewed after crash that killed Leneal Frazier

Frazier's family has hired national civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them.

The City of Minneapolis will review the Minneapolis Police Department's pursuit policy again after an officer on Tuesday crashed into and killed a driver who wasn't involved in the chase. 

That's according to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who on Thursday made his first public statement about the crash that killed 40-year-old Leneal Frazier, uncle of Darnella Frazier, who captured the video of George Floyd's arrest and death last year. 

"The loss of Leneal Frazier as the result of an MPD pursuit is a horrific tragedy. Period. Darnella, Leneal’s family, and Minneapolis’ Black community have borne the weight of more trauma over the last year than anyone, let alone any young person, should be expected to endure in a lifetime," Frey wrote in a statement posted to Facebook

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash, but Frey said "our local government will be cooperating fully to help ensure a transparent process."

The City of Minneapolis last updated the MPD's pursuit policy in 2019 "to make it far more restrictive," and Frey said the city "will again be reviewing" the policy, "independent of the investigation."

Video shows the crash

According to police, Officer Brian Cummings was pursuing a robbery suspect northbound on North Lyndale Avenue when he crashed into Leneal Frazier's Jeep. 

FOX 9 obtained surveillance video from a nearby gas station that shows the suspect vehicle speed through the intersection of North 41st and North Lyndale avenues. Then a few seconds later, the squad car speeds into the intersection, colliding with Leneal Frazier's vehicle as he was driving west on North 41st Avenue. 

The crash launched his vehicle into a bus shelter in front of the gas station, video shows. 

Leneal Frazier had to be extricated from his vehicle after the crash, police said. He was taken to the hospital, where he died, police said. 

Officer Cummings suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. A third driver was also involved in the crash, though police have not said if the Columbia Heights man suffered any injuries. 

The suspect was not involved in the crash and has yet to be arrested. 

Frazier family hires Ben Crump

Frazier's family has hired national civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them, and in a statement on Thursday Crump said he's demanding a "timely and transparent" investigation. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Leneal Frazier, including Miss Darnella Frazier, who has now twice been directly impacted by lethal practices of the Minneapolis Police Department," Crump said in a statement. "Police pursuits should be rare and law enforcement should take the greatest of precautions to protect all involved, especially innocent drivers and bystanders. The Frazier family and the Minneapolis community are mourning the loss of yet another Black life because of the irresponsible actions and failings of the Minneapolis Police Department.

“We expect a timely and transparent investigation by the Minneapolis State Patrol," Crump added. "The Frazier family deserves answers and accountability as they try to make sense of this terrible, and preventable tragedy.”

Crump has represented George Floyd's family and the family of Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer earlier this year. 

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