MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The family of Leneal Frazier says the city of Minneapolis destroyed a sidewalk memorial to him, just days before Christmas.
"It’s very hard. Like Thanksgiving was not easy for us. Christmas is not easy for us," Cheryl said. "We didn’t even go get a Christmas tree or lights or decorations, we’re just not in spirit right now."
Cheryl Frazier desperately misses her brother Leneal, finding comfort gathering with her tight-knit family at the north Minneapolis intersection where the 40-year-old was killed in July.
"Even though he is not here physically, but spiritually he is here with us," Cheryl said.
Leneal Frazier was driving a jeep. He had a green light and was attempting to pass through the intersection at Lyndale and 41st Avenues North last July when he was fatally struck by a Minneapolis police officer involved in a high-speed suspect pursuit.
The terrifying crash captured on gas station surveillance video. Frazier, an innocent victim. The officer Brian Cummings was subsequently charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide.
In the months since, the family has built up a memorial at the site. It’s where they wanted to gather to mark their first Christmas without Leneal.
"It hurts, it really hurt," said Jackie Jackson, mother of Leneal.
But earlier this week, the Fraziers believe the City of Minneapolis played Scrooge when public works crews swept through the space with a garbage truck and heavy machinery, captured on video Wednesday morning.
"This whole entire thing was full of my brother. They came in and ruined everything," brother Orlando Frazier said. "That was like thousands of dollars just put into my brother’s memorial. Come on, man. And they dug up and threw it away like my brother was trash."
The City of Minneapolis confirmed there was an inspection order for debris removal at the site and that crews removed garbage, but left behind memorial items. The order cites a nuisance violation with crews authorized to clear fire wood and trash from the space in front of the gas station.
The Fraziers disappointed to arrive to the memorial later that day to just find these two large photos of Leneal and a couple of small crosses left behind, telling FOX 9 they wished the city had worked with them to maintain their cherished space.
They’re vowing to rebuild the memorial and plan to spend Christmas at the memorial as planned.