crime and punishment

Minneapolis’s J Alexander Kueng charged in George Floyd’s death

J Alexander Kueng (©Hennepin County Jail)

J Alexander Kueng (©Hennepin County Jail)

J Alexander Kueng, 26, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States has been charged in the death of African-American man George Floyd. The former rookie cop is one of the three officers Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar was referring to in a tweet on June 3, 2020.

 

The Minneapolis Police Department hired Kueng on December 18, 2017. He was licensed in August 2019.

On May 25, 2020, Kueng and his fellow former Minneapolis Police Department officers Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, Thomas Kiernan Lane, 37, and Tou Thao, 34, arrested Floyd in Minneapolis.The African-American man was accused of buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill at a grocery store.

Assisted by Kueng and Lane with Thao watching, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. More than an hour later, Floyd was declared dead in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

J. Alexander Kueng, George Floyd

J Alexander Kueng, George Floyd

The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin, Lane, Kueng and Thao on May 26, 2020. Chauvin was arrested on May 29, 2020 and was originally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter

Chauvin is now facing a new charge of second-degree murder. On the other hand, Lane, Thao and Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.

“What I do not believe is one successful prosecution can rectify the hurt and loss that so many people feel,” Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison said during a press conference on June 3, 2020. “The solution to that pain will be slow and difficult work of construction justice and fairness in our society. That work is the work of all of us.”

Floyd’s death reawakened the Black Lives Matter movement and ignited anti-police brutality protests across the U.S. The riots overshadowed the issue about the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

“To the Floyd family, to our beloved community and to everyone that is watching, I say, George Floyd mattered,” Ellison said. “He was loved. His family was important. His life had value and we will seek justice for him and for you and we will find it.”

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