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Minneapolis cop seeks dismissal of charges in fatal pursuit

A former Minneapolis police officer has asked a judge to dismiss charges that he killed a man during a high-speed chase, saying the pursuit was justified

MINNEAPOLIS — A former Minneapolis police officer has asked a judge to dismiss charges that he killed a man during a high-speed chase, saying the pursuit was justified.

Prosecutors charged Brian Cummings in October with second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide in the July death of Leneal Frazier. He was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, who shot the cellphone video of George Floyd’s death. Authorities have said Cummings was chasing two suspected robbers when he crashed into Leneal Frazier’s SUV.

Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett filed a motion to dismiss the case this week, the Star Tribune reported Friday. Plunkett alleged in the motion that Cummings was chasing robbery suspects who were also wanted in a carjacking. He argued that the charges against the pair detail a string of robberies in which the two pushed store cashiers and even punched one.

Plunkett went on to argue that prosecutors have singled out Cummings as part of a push to soften police pursuit policies.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in a statement Friday that Plunkett’s arguments lack any basis in fact or the law and stressed that Cummings was driving at speeds in excess of 90 mph in a residential area after midnight.