crime and punishment

What J Alexander Kueng’s non-binary sibling Taylor Kueng has to say about George Floyd

Taylor Kueng, 21, the sibling of former Minneapolis Police Department officer J Alexander Kueng, 26, is non-binary. We will refer to the former using the non-binary pronouns they, them and their and we will use the noun sibling instead of brother or sister.

J Alexander and Taylor hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. They are African-American.

Taylor Kueng

In 2017, Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota selected Taylor as one of the five recipients of its Beat the Odds scholarship, Asian American Press reported. They are the president of Black Motivated Women and have been a student worker-office assistant at the Minnesota State University, Mankato since August 2018.

On May 31, 2019, two African-American men were detained by police officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office at Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis for an open bottle infraction. Taylor and their friend Makala Moore, 20, also African-American, spoke up against the detainment.

Moore and Taylor did not know the two African-American men. The Hennepin Country cops neither charged nor arrested the men.

However, the cops arrested Taylor and Moore. The encounter was caught on tape by Taylor, who resisted arrest.

One of the cops threatened Taylor with a Taser. When they asked what they were being arrested for, the officer replied, “Because.”

“Two men take me down, put their knees in my back (and) twist my wrists (while) I’m wearing a dress,” the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder quoted Moore as saying at a press conference on June 14, 2019. She described what she and Taylor endured in the hands of the Hennepin County cops as “violent mishandling.”

Taylor and Moore were charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process. They got the support of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Minneapolis, which called for an apology from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office.

 

J Alexander Kueng

From 2014 to 2017, J Alexander worked as an asset protection detective at Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 2018, he received his bachelor’s degree in sociology.

In February 2019, J Alexander joined the Minneapolis Police Department as a cadet. He was licensed in August 2019 and the department hired him in December 2019 as a police officer.

On May 25, 2020, an employee of Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis called 911 and reported that a man bought merchandise with a counterfeit $20 bill. At 8:09 p.m., J Alexander and fellow Minneapolis Police Department rookie officer Thomas Kiernan Lane arrived and were told that the man was parked in a car around the corner from the store on 38th Street.

When Lane and J Alexander approached the car, they found three people inside. George Floyd was on the driver’s seat, an adult male was in the front passenger seat and an adult female was sitting in the back seat.

George Floyd

Lane pulled his gun out and pointed it at the Floyd’s open window. Following the cop’s directions, Floyd showed his hands and put his hands on the steering wheel and the cop put his gun back in its holster.

It was Lane who handcuffed Floyd. At 8:14 p.m., Lane and J Alexander tried to walk Floyd to their squad car.

Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the cops he was not resisting but did not want to get in the back seat as he was claustrophobic. The rookie cops’ training officer Derek Michael Chauvin then arrived in a separate squad car along with another veteran officer Tou Nmn Thao.

The four officers had a hard time putting Floyd in the squad car. The arrestee did not voluntarily sit in the back seat and while still handcuffed, he went to the ground face down.

J Alexander held Floyd’s back. Lane held Floyd’s legs. Chauvin placed his left knee in the area of Floyd’s head and neck.

Thao obtained a hobble restraint from the squad car but his colleagues decided not to use it and maintained their positions. Aside from watching how his colleagues restrained Floyd, Thao also interacted with the bystanders.

Before losing consciousness, Floyd repeated said “I can’t breathe,” “Mama” and “please.” Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck at 8:27 p.m.

At 9:25 p.m., Floyd was declared dead in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. On May 26, 2020, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and the findings revealed that cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression caused his death and the manner of death was homicide.

Also on May 26, 2020,  the Minneapolis Police Department terminated Chauvin, Thao, Lane and J Alexander. On May 29, 2020, Chauvin was arrested, detained at Ramsey County Jail in Saint Paul, Minnesota and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

On May 31, 2020, Chauvin was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail in Hennepin County, Minnesota then to the Minnesota Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota.

On June 3, 2020, J Alexander, Lane and Thao were charged with unintentional aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and detained at the Hennepin County Jail in Hennepin County. On the same day, Chauvin faced a  new second-degree murder charge.

Non-binary

Being non-binary means one is neither exclusively female nor exclusively male. When asked why pronouns mattered to trans and non-binary people, non-binary editor, business owner and activist Charlie Knight told The Next Web, “We’re not safe.”

The first major non-binary character on American TV was Taylor Mason played by Asia Kate Dillon on “Billions.” Yael Baron and Brianna Bishop, played by Jamie Bloch on “Degrassi: Next Class” and Bex Taylor-Klaus on “Deputy,” respectively, are also non-binary.

Below is a recent interview with Taylor. It is the first time, they are publicly confirming that they are the sibling of J Alexander.

The interviewer did most of the talking and Taylor did not say much about the issues surrounding their sibling and Floyd. What we notice here, however, is that they corrected the interviewer several times with the correct non-binary terms.

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