The teenager who gained notoriety this year for testifying in the George Floyd murder trial after filming his death at the hands of former officer Derek Chauvin, says her uncle has also been killed by Minneapolis police officers.
Leneal Lamont Frazier, uncle of Darnella Frazier, who earned a special Pulitzer prize for her cell phone video of the killing of George Floyd, was killed last Tuesday when a Minneapolis police car struck his vehicle while in pursuit of a robbery and car-jacking suspect. Leneal Frazier was one of two bystander vehicles struck by the police cruiser as it engaged in a high-speed chase in a residential area. Frazier was killed and the other driver was taken to a nearby hospital to receive medical care and recovered at home. The officer was also treated at the hospital and later released.
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Darnella Frazier took to social media to speak about the pain the family is feeling after the loss of her uncle, posting on Facebook, “I honestly can’t believe I’m making this post right now…I’m so hurt…nothing feels real. I woke up to the most horrible news. MINNEAPOLIS police Killed my uncle..MY uncle… Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police!” While the circumstances of the killings are very different, the incident highlights a disturbing trend nationwide.
In 2015, a USA Today analysis found “More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers were killed and tens of thousands more were injured in police car chases since 1979” in the United States, and a study on fatal collisions and police pursuits by the Fine Law Firm and 1Point21 found “there were 1,699 fatal crashes involving police chases from 2014-2018, killing at least 2,005 people – 1,123 were not the driver of the fleeing vehicle.”
As the family grieves, they have asked for privacy and ask that the world remembers Leneal for the wonderful person he was. His sister, Cheryl Frazier, told CBS Minnesota, “He was a very good person, he would help you if you needed help, he’ll give you the shirt off his back if he had to,” she said. “He was always that type of person.”