Darnella Frazier’s uncle identified as innocent bystander killed in police chase

The teen who captured George Floyd's Minneapolis murder says her uncle, Leneal Lamont Frazier, was killed Tuesday.

The young woman who captured the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis shared on Tuesday that her uncle was killed as an innocent bystander during a police chase. 

Darnella Frazier wrote in a Facebook post that her uncle, Leneal Lamont Frazier, was killed earlier that morning when a police squad car struck his vehicle while in pursuit of another. 

“Another Black man lost his life in the hands of the police!” lamented Frazier. “Minneapolis police has cost my whole family a big loss … today has been a day full of heartbreak and sadness.”

According to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, three vehicles were involved in the accident just after midnight Tuesday. Police were pursuing the driver of a stolen car, who had reportedly been linked to a carjacking and several robberies of multiple businesses. 

Darnella Frazier, theGrio.com
Darnella Frazier (Photo: Instagram)

Police spokesperson John Elder said the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, and the driver fled. The officer then pursued and entered the intersection at 41st and Lyndale Avenues in the neighborhood of Camden, where he collided with Frazier’s car.

According to Elder, after the crash, Frazier was transported by ambulance to North Memorial Health, where he died. The third vehicle involved was that of another innocent bystander, who was not injured. 

The unidentified officer was treated and released.

Minnesota State Police are investigating the crash. They will determine if the officer had his lights and siren activated, as well as who had the right of way at the intersection, which has traffic lights. 

According to the report, Minneapolis changed its traffic pursuit policy in 2019 after a rise in police pursuits over the previous three years. Officers are not to initiate or continue a pursuit if it “poses an unreasonable risk to the officers, the public or passengers of the vehicle being pursued who may be unwilling participants.”

Leneal Frazier’s sister, Cheryl Frazier, told the local CBS outlet her brother “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.”

A homeowner who lives near the crash site said he heard the collision. “The whole house shook,” Michael Ganzer said. “It was just a big, loud bang.”

Darnella Frazier was recently awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for videotaping and sharing the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. The Pulitzer Prize Board announced in June she received a special citation for “courageously recording” his death at the knee of now-convicted former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, “a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”

The young woman, who was 17 at the time, has said she still suffers from trauma after witnessing Floyd’s murder. 

“I am 18 now and I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a year ago. It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be,” she wrote in part in a Facebook post. “A part of my childhood was taken from me.” 

GoFundMe has been established to help pay for Leneal Frazier’s homegoing services. 

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