The family of a man killed after a Minneapolis police officer struck his vehicle while chasing a suspect spoke out Wednesday against the officer's filing to get charges dismissed.
Several family members of Leneal Frazier called for former officer Brian Cummings to stand trial before a jury in Frazier's death. Cummings was charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide after a high-speed crash at a north Minneapolis intersection in July.
"He wanted to try to be a hero and tried to do it himself instead of calling for backup," Jacqueline Jackson, Frazier's mother, said to about a dozen people gathered at Hennepin County Courthouse. "If he would have done the right thing my son would still be living right now."
Attorney Jeff Storms said Cummings' fate should not be decided by a judge.
"That is not the way the ordinary citizen would be treated," he said. "It is absolutely not the way we would treat Black people right here in Minnesota or across the country."
Close friend Jeffery Richardson held up Frazier's ashes in a green and silver urn. Frazier was 40 at the time of his death.
"We got to carry him around in this," Richardson said. "We shouldn't be carrying him around in this."
According to a recent filing, two teenagers were fleeing in a stolen car when Cummings, who was pursuing them, hit an SUV Frazier was in.
Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett argued in his dismissal motion that Cummings' pursuit of the two suspects was "consistent with [Police] Department policies" at the time and that his client "has been singled out for prosecution for a political purpose."