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Ex-Minneapolis officer agrees to plea deal in pursuit crash involving innocent driver

Brian Cummings pled guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in relation to a pursuit that reached speeds of up to 100 mph

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Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal vehicular homicide after a police pursuit killed an innocent bystander two years ago.

In exchange for the plea, a second-degree manslaughter charge against Brian Cummings was dismissed.

Prosecutors said Cummings was pursuing a suspected car thief on July 6, 2021, when he ran a red light and hit a car driven by Leneal Frazier, 40, of St. Paul, who died at the scene.

Officials said the chase wound through north Minneapolis and reached speeds of up to 100 mph in residential neighborhoods where the speed limit was 25 mph, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Under the plea deal, Cummings, a 14-year police veteran, could serve up to one year in the county workhouse and three to five years of probation. If he violates probation, he could face up to four years in prison.

Cummings was scheduled to go to trial next week. His sentencing was scheduled for June 22.

Frazier, the father of six children, was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, who recorded the death of George Floyd when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in 2020.