The family of Leneal Frazier and their attorney Jeff Storms held a news conference on Friday to discuss the loss of their loved one as well as call for due process in Frazier’s death after he was killed earlier this week when a Minneapolis police vehicle stuck his car while pursuing another vehicle in a high-speed chase.
Frazier, 40, was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, the 18-year-old teen who recorded the death of George Floyd. Frazier’s death again shook the foundation of Black communities in the city who are still reeling from the repeated killings of Black community members and just months from the killing of Daunte Wright and the Derek Chauvin verdict.
“This is about race, I did what good attorneys do when I was asked to come for Mr. Frazier’s family. I started looking at facts,” said Storms.
Storms referenced a USA Today study that showed Black Americans are “three times more likely to be killed as the result of high-speed police chases than other Americans.”
“When someone says this isn’t about race, that’s ignoring the various systematic issues that are at play here,” Storms continued.
Storms confirmed the family will file a lawsuit, but revealed the investigation has been less than transparent for Fraizer’s family. But no matter what the findings reveal, Storms contends the family wants full accountability and criminal charges pursued to the fullest extent of the law.
Brian Cummings, the officer involved in the case, has yet to face disciplinary action. An investigation by KARE 11 found that Cummings and another officer were previously sued for using a taser on a man with mental illness. The case was later settled for $10,000.
Frazier’s family claimed they’ve been left in the dark over what led to his death and have not been allowed to view his body.
“It’s just so messed up that my brother got took away from us for no reason at all,” Orlando Frazier, Leneal’s brother began. “We don’t even know the reason, we don’t know what happened, we haven’t even seen my brother body yet. We tried to go down there and view my brother body and they told us we cannot do that. They told us that the building that he was in was not for the public, so my mom or my sister, not even his older daughter can go in there and identify my brother.”
“As a family right now we’re frustrated. They took the most important person from us and it hurt. And yes we want justice because how can this keep going on like this?”
Jamie Bradford, one of Frazier’s children spoke about losing her father after the two reconnected. “I hope we get justice because my heart is broke, my soul hurt,” she said.
Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and activist also spoke out regarding the Minneapolis Police Department, calling for accountability over what she describes as “reckless conduct.”
Armstrong claimed that she lives in close proximity to where the accident took place. Prior to this, she observed officers running red lights and participating in unsafe driving practices in Black, residential neighborhoods.
“We know that we cannot trust the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to hold police officers accountable, that is why we haven’t seen any charges in this case. So we are calling upon Gov. Waltz to get the Attorney General Keith Ellison involved in investigating and ultimately bringing charges against the officer who killed Leneal Frazier.”
Mohmaed Ibrahim of CAIR Minnesota echoed Armstrong’s sentiments, but also called for the officer’s termination.