A motorist died early Tuesday in a crash with a Minneapolis Police squad car that was in pursuit of an armed robbery suspect on the city’s north side. The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) says the collision happened around 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of Lyndale and 41st Avenues.

The squad car was pursuing a stolen vehicle linked to commercial robberies when it crashed into a westbound car. The squad car then collided with another car in the southbound lane. Neither car was involved with the robbery. Both the driver of the westbound car and the officer were taken by ambulance to North Memorial Health Hospital, where the driver died shortly after arrival. The officer was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the southbound car was not injured. The robbery suspect fled the scene after the crash.

The driver who died in the crash was identified as Leneal Lamont Frazier, the uncle of Darnella Frazier, who received a Pulitzer Prize for filming the death of George Floyd.

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Police Pursuits Can Lead to Dangerous Crashes

The crash is under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol and the MPD will begin an internal investigation to look into whether the squad car activated its siren and turned on its emergency lights.

Data from the Star Tribune shows that 26 percent of MPD chases resulted in an unintentional crash between 2016-2020. An MPD spokesperson told the media the department believes this pursuit fits within their policy, which is to give chase in situations where they believe a suspect has committed or is about to commit “a serious and violent felony or gross misdemeanor.” According to the MPD, their policy also allows for a pursuit if the suspect’s driving is “so flagrantly reckless that the driver would pose an imminent and life-threatening danger to the public if not apprehended.”

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