Leneal Frazier family upset after trial delay of former MPD Officer Cummings

The family of Leneal Frazier held a press conference Thursday to air their displeasure on the week that former Minneapolis Police Officer Brian Cummings was supposed to go on trial.

But the trial was delayed to next year, and the family is continuing their quest for justice now that the suspect in the deadly chase has been identified and charged.

"He just kept on going, trying to be the hero that he thought that he was going to be that night, but he ended up killing my brother," Said Cheryl Frazier, Leneal’s sister, referring to Officer Cummings.

Cheryl Frazier and her family remain firm in their beliefs on who is to blame for the deadly, high-speed police pursuit that claimed the life of her 40-year old brother during the fiery north Minneapolis crash in July 2021. 

Their feelings were complicated this week with the emergence of a name and face of the suspect Cummings was apparently chasing that night in James Jones-Drain.

"He got a lengthy record. He do. He needs to be in jail," Cheryl said. "But at the same time, chasing him down the street and then y’all didn’t catch him… Until a year later. He's still not in jail, but my brother is dead."

The 19-year-old Jones-Drain is still not in police custody, but has been charged by warrant with fleeing police and theft – all felony level offenses.

According to court documents, Jones-Drain is a suspect in at least 10 robberies, and was caught on surveillance video just days earlier – stealing the Kia that Cummings was pursuing – after grabbing the keys from the female owner at a Minneapolis Target store.

While authorities continue to search for Jones-Drain, Cummings’ trial for second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide has been delayed. Initially slated to begin this week, the Frazier’s were frustrated to learn the case has been pushed back to next May.

"We got to continue on fighting when we just want it to be over with so we can sit and grieve in peace," Cheryl says.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting both men – Cummings and Jones-Drain – and will be attempting to hold both criminally accountable for their roles in the death of Leneal Frazier.