Business owner who cheered as his restaurant was torched during a riot has new restaurant robbed, van stolen

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A restaurant owner who had his business burnt down in May of 2020 during the BLM riots in Minneapolis, which he supported the burning down of his business in the name of “justice”, now had his new restaurant robbed and van stolen – and now wants people to “call 911” if the van is spotted.

There are just some instances of irony to blaring to ignore, and the case of Minneapolis business owner Ruhel Islam is certainly one of those cases,

Back in May of 2020, when Minneapolis was experiencing the worst of the riots following George Floyd’s death, Islam’s Gandhi Mahal restaurant was burned down by rioters, as it was located mere blocks away from the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct.

After the building had caught fire, the official Facebook page for the Gandhi Mahal restaurant shared a post that expressed solidarity with the malefactors responsible for burning down the business.

Islam’s daughter, Hafsa, took credit for writing the post and claimed that her father said, “let my building burn” and put the hashtags “#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd” and “#BLM” on the post as well:

“This is Hafsa, Ruhel’s daughter writing, as I am sitting next to my dad watching the news, I hear him say on the phone; “let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail”. Gandhi Mahal May have felt the flames last night, but our firey drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die! Peace be with everyone.  #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #BLM”

Hafsa also wound up writing an op-ed for the Washington Post after the restaurant was burned down, where she signaled her virtue by writing that while her family’s business was burned down, “it will have been worth it” if “justice” was achieved in Floyd’s death:

“It becomes clearer to me than ever that the issue at hand is greater than Gandhi Mahal. We can rebuild a building, but we will never reclaim the life George Floyd didn’t get to live. For years, protesters tried peace. It didn’t work. If this is what it takes to get justice, then it will have been worth it.”

The Gandhi Mahal restaurant, which was located on East Lake Street has, has since been demolished and Islam later wound up opening a new restaurant roughly two miles away called Curry In A Hurry.

Flash-forward to July of 2021, and Curry In A Hurry not only winds up getting robbed – but the catering van for the restaurant was also stolen.

Islam says that the catering van was stolen from outside of his home in the Morris Park/Nokomis area during the afternoon of July 17th, and then the Curry In A Hurry was robbed of all the cash in the register, $500, on July 19th.

It is believed the person who stole the van used the keys to the business left inside of the van to break into the restaurant.

In a Facebook post from Curry In A Hurry’s official page dated July 21st, they’re asking anyone who sees their van to please call 911:

“Van spotted recently, the tree logos are painted black on the sides. 38th and lake. If anyone spots him please call 911.”

While Islam is urging people to call 911 if they spot his van, he said during a recent interview with a local news outlet that if the suspect(s) return his van, then he won’t have charges pressed against them:

“If you need food, I’ll give you food all your life – you’ll have it. Need a job to rent a house, I’ll give you a job. Come work with us and solve the problem…this is what we have to do.”

For someone so intent on seeing justice upheld for others, it’s rather odd to see the same individual refuse it for themselves.

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In other recent news stemming from Minneapolis, the uncle of the teen who filmed George Floyd’s death was killed earlier in July after being accidentally struck in his car by an MPD cruiser that was in the middle of a high-speed pursuit of a carjacking suspect. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in July. 

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The uncle of the teen who filmed George Floyd’s death was reportedly killed in a crash involving a Minneapolis Police squad car whose officer was pursuing a carjacking and robbery suspect.

Shortly after midnight on July 6th, Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder said an officer located a vehicle believed to be involved in a carjacking and robbery and tried pulling the driver over:

“An officer observed the suspect vehicle in that area, attempted to pull it over and the vehicle, instead of pulling over, fled.”

The pursuit of the suspect vehicle ran for about eight blocks, until the MPD unit crashed at the intersection of 41st Avenue North and Lyndale Avenue North in Minneapolis, striking two uninvolved vehicles at the intersection.

Officials say that the MPD officer, identified as Officer Brian Cummings, was driving northbound on Lyndale Avenue and collided with 40-year-old Leneal Lamont Frazier’s vehicle that was driving westbound on 41st Avenue, which the MPD unit also collided with a unidentified driver headed southbound on Lyndale Avenue.

The impact of the collision killed Frazier.

Both Officer Cummings and the unidentified driver of the second vehicle were treated at an area hospital and have since been released. The wife of the other driver injured told news crews that her husband didn’t want to discuss the accident but said that he feels lucky to be alive.

The carjacking suspect that was being pursued got away, according to officials.

Officer Cummings has since been placed on standard critical incident leave, according to the MPD.

A statement released by the Minnesota State Patrol confirmed that they’re leading the investigation into the fatal crash, noting that once their investigation is complete then they’ll hand their findings over to the county attorney for review and determination of any next steps.

This case has managed to attract unique attention in Minneapolis, as Frazier is the uncle of the teen, Darnella Frazier, that filmed the death of George Floyd back in May of 2020.

Darnella took to Facebook to share a post regarding her uncle’s death, blaming Minneapolis Police for her uncle’s death and rhetorically asking why an MPD unit would be involved in high-speed chase within a residential neighborhood:

“I honestly can’t believe I’m making this post right now…I’m so hurt…nothing feels real. I woke up to the most horrible news. MINNEAPOLIS police Killed my uncle. MY uncle… Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police!”

In a second post from Darnella, she clarified that she isn’t claiming MPD killed her uncle on purpose, but that she’s frustrated over her uncle dying over what she believed to be an irresponsible high speed chase:

“I never said the police killed him on purpose. I said it was the police’s fault. I never said it had anything to do with race, because if this was a black cop, I’d feel the same way. I honestly don’t even know the race of the cop. I just know it was a police officer behind the wheel.”

“I also never said the suspect held zero responsibility, but the police made a bad decision by doing a high speed chase on a residential road. That bad decision cost my uncle his life.

The police car is the car that killed my uncle. Accident or not he’s gone. Everyone made it out alive, BUT my uncle. It hurts different because he had NOTHING to do with this. He was on his way home.

I have every right to feel the way I feel. My family as well. If it was you in my shoes, you would be doing the same.”

In an incident report from the MPD regarding the fatal accident, it was noted that Officer Cummings did have his lights and sirens activated during the pursuit. 

The Department of Public Safety reported that Frazier also reported that Frazier has never held a Minnesota driver’s license.

Jeff Storms, an attorney representing the Frazier family, says that a lawsuit regarding Frazier’s death is planned. Storms also wants to see criminal charges considered in the matter: 

“When a citizen drives recklessly and kills somebody else, they face criminal charges and that’s exactly what needs to be investigated and pursued to the fullest extent of the law.”

This is an ongoing investigation. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case. 

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