Brian Cummings files motion to dismiss charges in Leneal Frazier death

Attorneys of the former Minneapolis police officer facing charges for striking and killing a man during a police pursuit has filed to dismiss the case.

Former MPD officer Brian Cummings is charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide for a high-speed, squad-involved July 6 crash that killed 40-year-old Leneal Frazier.

Cummings is no longer with the Minneapolis Police Department, the City of Minneapolis confirmed Friday. His last day on the job was Oct. 23, the day after prosecutors charged him in Frazier’s death. At that time, MPD said they couldn't comment or provide info on his employment status due to "Minnesota Data Practice Laws."

Defense attorneys seeking dismissal of charges

On Thursday, Cummings’ attorneys filed a motion to dismiss "based on selective prosecution." They say prosecutors have singled him out "for a political purpose" while he was "engaged in lawful duties" as a police officer.

"Cummings has been denied due process and equal protection," attorneys Thomas Plunkett and Deborah Ellis wrote.

The attorneys said they will offer credible evidence that "other similarly situated law enforcement officers" have not been prosecuted for "accidents arising out of lawful pursuits." 

They also argue that the selection of prosecution is based on "bad motive," which violates Cumming’s constitutional rights. Read the full motion to dismiss here.

Prosecutors respond

State prosecutors provided the following statement to FOX 9 in response to the motion to dismiss: 

"The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office intends to file a written response to these motions, which will be publicly available. Suffice to say for now that these motions are completely without any basis in the facts or in the law and thus will be vigorously opposed. 

Our office will not allow the personal nature of these motions to deflect attention away from the criminal behavior underlying this case: that the defendant was driving through a residential area after midnight at speeds exceeding 90 mph, which resulted in the tragic death of an innocent man."

A Hennepin County judge will eventually have to sort it out as Cummings’ motion also takes exception with the characterization of the fleeing vehicle that eventually got away that night.

His lawyers argue, vidence shows the Kia was the subject of a strong-armed carjacking and likely involved in several other violent encounters in the days leading up to the pursuit, and thus, Cummings would have been justified in pursuing it.

A motion hearing in the case is scheduled for March 17. A trial is currently scheduled for September.

MORE: Minneapolis police officer Brian Cummings charged in crash that killed Leneal Frazier

Death of Leneal Frazier

The investigation found the chase initiated by Officer Cummings reached speeds of 100 mph through residential neighborhoods and his squad struck 40-year-old Leneal Frazier's Jeep, which was not involved in the pursuit, at 78 mph.

Frazier was driving west on North 41st Avenue on July 6 around 12:30 a.m, on his way to his girlfriend’s house, when Cummings’ squad car, pursuing an armed robbery suspect northbound on Lyndale Avenue North, collided with his vehicle in the intersection. Frazier’s car was pushed into a nearby bus shelter. Frazier died at the hospital a short time later.

RELATED: Family says City crews ruined Leneal Frazier's memorial days before Christmas