Darnella Frazier: Uncle of girl who filmed George Floyd murder killed by police car in accident
'Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police!' Frazier wrote in a Facebook post identifying the innocent man as her uncle Leneal Lamont Frazier
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: An innocent man killed when he was caught up in a crash involving a Minneapolis police squad car that was pursuing a robbery suspect was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed the death of George Floyd. The incident took place around 12:30 am on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at the intersection of 41st Avenue North and Lyndale Avenue.
Police say the officer was chasing after a carjacking and robbery suspect at the time. The person the police were chasing got away, and Leneal Lamont Frazier, Darnella's uncle, got caught in the crossfire.
Darnella Frazier then took to Facebook to identify her uncle who died when his vehicle was struck by the squad car while pursuing the other vehicle. In the emotional post she wrote on the social networking site, Frazier questioned the police and spoke at length about her uncle Leneal. In June 2021, Darnella was awarded a Pulitzer Prize special citation for capturing video of Floyd's death.
"Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police!" Frazier wrote. "Minneapolis police has cost my whole family a big loss … today has been a day full of heartbreak and sadness."
You can read the entire post here:
The innocent man killed this morning by Minneapolis Police during a chase in north Minneapolis is the uncle of Darnella Frazier, the teenager that filmed George Floyd's murder. pic.twitter.com/GEQU44c69j— 🇵🇸 #FreePalestine 🍀 #FreeAssange (@bymyelf) July 7, 2021
Police were trying to catch a driver of a stolen vehicle that was believed to have been taken during a carjacking and linked to robberies at multiple businesses, police spokesman John Elder reportedly said. According to the latest report in Star Tribune, when officers spotted the stolen vehicle near N 6th Street and Lowry Avenue, they attempted a traffic stop but the driver fled. Elder said that as the pursuing officer going north on Lyndale entered the intersection at 41st, he collided with a westbound vehicle, Elder said. The driver of this car was later identified by Darnella as her uncle.
Leneal Lamont Frazier was reportedly taken to North Memorial Health in Robbinsdale by ambulance but later died, Elder said. He added that the officer was also taken to the hospital for treatment and later released.
Elder said that the police department will start an internal investigation into the pursuit, including looking at whether the squad had its emergency lights on and siren activated as department policy requires. There are certain guidelines set in place when it comes to pursuits. MPD's pursuit policy was updated in June 2019 after pursuits reportedly jumped 25% over three years. As per this policy, police may no longer initiate a pursuit or must terminate a pursuit in progress if it "poses an unreasonable risk to the officers, the public or passengers of the vehicle being pursued who may be unwilling participants." The policy reads that officers can only give chase in situations where they believe a suspect has committed or is about to commit "a serious and violent felony or gross misdemeanor." The policy also allows for a pursuit if the suspect's driving is "so flagrantly reckless that the driver would pose an imminent and life-threatening danger to the public if not apprehended."
Elder said Tuesday morning's pursuit "fit the criteria". "We are limiting what we can chase for, but these were obvious felonies," he said.
On social media, many users are expressing sympathy for Darnella. "Oh that poor girl. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and trauma that keeps getting stacked onto her. Her uncle deserves justice," one user wrote. "Fighting tears right now. This young lady has been through enough without this happening!" another wrote. "How heartbreaking and horrifying for her. In one year she's experienced several lifetimes of loss and trauma. Take care and be well, Ms Frazier," another user added.
Oh that poor girl. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and trauma that keeps getting stacked onto her. Her uncle deserves justice.— BooBoo The Got Damn Clown (@gotdamnbooboo) July 7, 2021
Fighting tears right now. This young lady has been through enough without this happening!— DragonTat2 🦺 ૐ 용 문신 🌹 (@DragonTat2) July 7, 2021
💔How heartbreaking and horrifying for her. In one year she's experienced several lifetimes of loss and trauma.😢 Take care and be well, Ms. Frazier. ✨💖💫 pic.twitter.com/DdAecz7rxs— 🗽Stephanie Noel Kirlin³³º¹🛹🌱🥁🕶#DemCast (@DC2CA) July 7, 2021
A GoFundMe page for Leneal has also been created. It describes him as a gentle soul. "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.He was the father of 6 children and 1 grandchild. He was the oldest of 5 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."