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Former Minnesota police officer pleads guilty in George Floyd death

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Oct 25, 2022 - 09:34 AM

HOUSTON, United States (AA) – A former Minneapolis police officer in the US state of Minnesota pleaded guilty on Monday to the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.

J. Alexander Kueng, 29, agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting in the second-degree manslaughter of Floyd. By taking the plea deal, the charge of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder was dropped.

The deal calls for Kueng to be sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, which will be served concurrently with his federal prison sentencing.

If Kueng had been convicted of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, he could have faced up to 12.5 years in prison.

Kueng is the second officer to agree to a plea deal.

Fellow officer Thomas Lane, 39, pleaded guilty in May to a second-degree manslaughter charge and has been serving a 2.5-year federal sentence concurrently with his three-year state prison sentence.

A third officer, Tou Thao, 36, rejected a plea deal earlier this year. Jury selection for Thao is expected to begin on Monday.

All three were convicted in February on federal counts of willfully violating the civil rights of Floyd, who was Black.

Lane was sentenced to 2.5 years in the federal case, Kueng was sentenced to three years and Thao was sentenced to 3.5 years.

Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Officer Derek Chauvin, 46, who is white, kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly said he could not breathe.

The 9-minute killing was captured on video and sparked protests across the country about police brutality and racial injustice.

Kueng and Lane helped to restrain Floyd, who was handcuffed. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs.

Thao kept bystanders from intervening while Floyd was pinned to the ground.

Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges last year and is currently serving 22.5 years in the state case. He also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced to 21 years, with both sentences being served concurrently.

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