Crime, Law and Justice

BCA investigating death of man found dead in lake after police pursuit

Students hold signs
Student protesters hold signs to remember Khalil Azad during a Monday press conference and walkout in Minneapolis.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Updated March 8, 1 p.m. | Posted March 7, 8:43 p.m.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Tuesday it's investigating the death of a man who was found dead in a Twin Cities lake following a police pursuit last summer.

The announcement came a day after hundreds of students walked out of school demanding an independent investigation into the death of Khalil Ahmad Azad.

Man with dreads wearing a hooded sweatshirt
The family of Khalil Azad is questioning the circumstances surrounding his death in July 2022.
BLM Minnesota

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner previously said the 24-year-old Black man died of freshwater drowning in Robbinsdale’s Crystal Lake.

His body was found July 5, two days after he allegedly crashed an SUV while fleeing from a Robbinsdale police officer who tried to stop him for speeding and suspected drunk driving.

Azad ran from the crashed vehicle but two passengers, a man and a woman, stayed behind and can be heard speaking with officers on body camera video that Robbinsdale police released on Tuesday. Azad does not recognizably appear in the video.

Robbinsdale police, who requested the BCA investigation on Friday, said in a news release that Plymouth police dogs and a state patrol helicopter looked for Azad early on July 3, but called off their search after about a half hour.

In their own statement Tuesday, Azad’s family and the group Minnesota Teen Activists said that the video from Robbinsdale police does not show the pursuit and search in its entirety and does not include time stamps.

The group is calling on other agencies involved, including the Minnesota State Patrol and the Plymouth Police Department, to release any video they may have that’s connected to the incident.