Former MPD officer sentenced after pleading guilty to criminal vehicular homicide
Former Minneapolis police officer Brian Cummings was sentenced today to 270 days in the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility, after admitting in April to killing 40-year-old Leneal Frazier by driving with gross negligence, entering an intersection on a red light at an extraordinarily high rate of speed, with no justifiable reason for doing so. Cummings’ guilty plea is believed to be the first time in Minnesota that a police officer has pled guilty to a homicide offense without having previously been convicted and sentenced to prison or having a promise of a concurrent sentence in another jurisdiction. Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty released the following statement:
“Community members expect that those empowered to enforce the law will not callously disregard the lives of others when they do so. Thankfully, Mr. Cummings’ criminal conduct is not representative of the many enforcement officers who act and drive responsibly with respect for the safety of our community members each and every day. Good police work is a critical part of public safety, and we expect police officers will not break the law under the pretense of enforcing the law. Mr. Cummings’ actions fell far short of those expectations.
“Today’s sentencing sends an important message that every person in our county will be held accountable for their actions when they break the law. Mr. Cummings has acknowledged he had other options that day and should not have continued the pursuit through city streets at such high speeds, causing excessive danger to others on the road. The criminally-negligent driving to which Mr. Cummings admitted will not be tolerated, and he has now been held accountable in the criminal legal system.
“My thoughts are with Leneal Frazier’s family, and I am hopeful today’s sentencing helps them as they go forward without him. They have endured a long road to criminal accountability with patience and dignity. I cannot imagine their continued pain and grief, knowing their loved one’s life was wrongfully taken by someone sworn to protect them.”