J. Alexander Kueng, officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s again, sentenced to three 1/2 years in jail


Community members say Kueng, Thao developments will spare many ache of reliving Floyd’s demise

Community members say Kueng, Thao developments will spare many ache of reliving Floyd’s demise


The former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s again whereas one other officer kneeled on the Black man’s neck was sentenced Friday to three 1/2 years in jail for manslaughter.

J. Alexander Kueng pleaded responsible in October to a state rely of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. The plea got here on the identical day jury choice was set to start in his trial. His responsible plea — together with one other officer’s determination to let a decide determine his destiny — averted what would have been the third lengthy and painful trial over Floyd’s killing.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after former Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd repeatedly stated he could not breathe and finally went limp. The killing, which was recorded on video by a bystander, sparked worldwide protests as a part of a broader reckoning over racial injustice.

Kueng kneeled on Floyd’s again throughout the restraint. Then-Officer Thomas Lane held Floyd’s legs and Tou Thao, additionally an officer on the time, stored bystanders from intervening. All of the officers had been fired and confronted state and federal fees.

Kueng, who’s already serving a federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, appeared at Friday’s sentencing listening to through video from a low-security federal jail in Ohio, however he did not make a press release. The listening to was scheduled to happen Friday morning however was postponed to the afternoon as a result of technical difficulties.

As a part of his plea settlement, Kueng admitted he held Floyd’s torso, that he knew from his expertise and coaching that restraining a handcuffed particular person in a inclined place created a considerable danger, and that the restraint of Floyd was unreasonable below the circumstances.

Kueng agreed to a state sentence of three 1/2 years in jail, to be served concurrently his federal sentence and in federal custody.

Kueng’s sentencing brings the instances in opposition to the entire former officers a step nearer to decision, although the state case in opposition to Thao remains to be pending.

Thao beforehand advised Judge Peter Cahill that it “would be lying” to plead responsible. In October, he agreed to what’s known as a stipulated proof trial on the aiding and abetting manslaughter rely. As a part of that course of, his attorneys and prosecutors are understanding agreed-upon proof in his case and submitting written closing arguments. Cahill will then determine whether or not he’s responsible or not.

Attorney Joe Tamburino, who shouldn’t be linked with this case, advised CBS Minnesota that to carry out a trial on this method is “very unusual” and barely occurs.

“In my 33 years of experience with over 100 jury trials, defense attorneys don’t waive a jury unless they have a very, very good idea what the judge will do,” Tamburino stated. “The main reason you don’t waive a jury is that a jury needs to be unanimous … and a ‘bench trial’ is just one person — the judge.”

If Thao is convicted, a rely of aiding and abetting second-degree homicide, which carries a presumptive sentence of 12 1/2 years in jail, might be dropped.

Chauvin, who’s White, was convicted of state homicide and manslaughter fees final yr and is serving 22 1/2 years within the state case. He additionally pleaded responsible to a federal cost of violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced to 21 years. He is serving the sentences concurrently on the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona.

Kueng, Lane and Thao had been convicted of federal fees in February: All three had been convicted of depriving Floyd of his proper to medical care and Thao and Kueng had been additionally convicted of failing to intervene to cease Chauvin throughout the killing.

Lane, who’s White, is serving his 2 1/2-year federal sentence at a facility in Colorado. He’s serving a three-year state sentence on the identical time. Kueng, who’s Black, was sentenced to 3 years on the federal counts; Thao, who’s Hmong American, received a 3 1/2-year federal sentence.


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