Former Minneapolis police officer Alexander Kueng pleads guilty to aiding manslaughter in George Floyd’s murder

Former Minneapolis police officer Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd in late May 2020.

According to the Associated Press, the plea was in exchange for dismissing an aiding and abetting count for second-degree murder.

The request came as the jury selection was about to begin on Monday. Kueng is the second officer to plead guilty to the state’s charge after former officer Thomas Lane pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Colleague former officer Tou Thao will go to trial this week.

Kueng, Lane and Thao have already been convicted on federal charges of intentionally violating the civil rights of Mr. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man.

Lane was sentenced to two and a half years, Kueng to three years and Thao to three and a half years in the federal case.

Some members of the Floyd family and a number of activists argued that those sentences were too lenient.

The father, 46, was killed on May 25, 2020 when the then officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, held a handcuffed Mr Floyd with a knee to his neck for nine minutes despite claiming he was unable to breathe. many times .

Trial of George Floyd for Other Officers (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

George Floyd's other officers' trial (¬ © 2022 Star Tribune)

George Floyd’s other officers’ trial (¬ © 2022 Star Tribune)

A video of the moment filmed by a witness served as crucial evidence in the Chauvin trial and was widely shared on social media and in news outlets, prompting national and international protests against police brutality and rallies for racial justice.

Lane and Kueng both took part in restraining Mr. Floyd, with Kueng kneeling on his back and Lane holding his legs. Thao prevented witnesses from taking action.

Kueng’s request indicated that a sentence could be three and a half years, but a judge will deliver the final sentence. Following his state appeal, Lane was sentenced to three years: the state sentence will be served in conjunction with the federal sentence.

This image provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota, shows Thomas Lane (Hennepin County)

This image provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota, shows Thomas Lane (Hennepin County)

At the state level, Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter to 22.5 years in April last year. At the federal level, Chauvin also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights. He was sentenced to 21 years in that case and in a separate case involving a 14-year-old boy.

He is serving both sentences at the same time at the Federal Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona.

Lane is white, Kueng is black, and Thao is American Hmong: all of them were convicted of their federal charges in February this year following a months-long trial that outlined their education and culture within the police department, the Associated Press noted.

Civil Rights Officers George Floyd Chauvin (Hennepin County Sheriff)

Civil Rights Officers George Floyd Chauvin (Hennepin County Sheriff)

They were convicted of denying Mr. Floyd’s right to medical treatment, and Thao and Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to prevent Chauvin from killing him.

After their federal sentences, there were questions about whether Thao and Kueng would go to trial. Legal experts said they would likely seek a state-level plea deal that would go beyond their federal sentences and that would allow them to serve both at the same time.

For second-degree manslaughter of an individual with no criminal record, such as Kueng, state sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence of between three and a half to four years, with an alleged sentence of four years, according to the news agency.

The alleged sentence for aiding and abetting in second degree murder is 12.5 years.

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