Robbinsdale police ask BCA to investigate after community members raise concerns about man’s death

The Robbinsdale Police Department is requesting the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to conduct an independent review on the death investigation of a man whose body was found in Crystal Lake on July 5, 2022.

Khalil Ahmad Azad, a 24-year-old man from Buffalo, was found dead in the waters of Crystal Lake on July 5. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death an accidental drowning.

The BCA says it is evaluating the Robbinsdale Police Department’s request to review the case.

RELATED: Robbinsdale police: Body pulled from Crystal Lake

In a social media post, Black Lives Matter Minnesota called for an independent investigation into Azad’s death. The organization also shared graphic images they claim shows injuries to Azad’s body.

No official photos of the autopsy have been released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Robbinsdale Police Department said in a news release that officers tried to make a DWI traffic stop on County Road 81 just before 1:30 a.m. on July 3. Police then pursued the vehicle when it did not pull over. The news release states that the driver “lost control of the vehicle” and that it came to a stop in the 3900 block of Lakeland Avenue North. One man then fled from the vehicle on foot and was not located despite police searching the area. Police said they used a K9 unit and a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter equipped with thermal imaging during their search.

The news release states that police did not have any contact with the person who fled the scene. Officers say they did speak to two passengers who were in the vehicle and that neither of them identified the driver.

Azad’s body was then found in Crystal Lake two days later.

The police department says it did a thorough investigation last year, but will support an independent review of the case in an effort to be transparent.

Robbinsdale police also say they will release body camera footage from the incident.

Black Lives Matter Minnesota is holding a vigil for Azad on Wednesday.