Former Minneapolis police officer J Alexander Kueng’s sentence is ‘another piece of justice’ for Floyd’s family, attorneys say.
A former US police officer was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for his role in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by Minneapolis police in May 2020 caused a wave of public outcry.
J Alexander Kueng appeared for sentencing hearing in Hennepin County Court on Friday, joining via video link from a federal prison in Ohio, where he is serving a three-year federal prison sentence for violating the Floyd’s civil rights.
He had pleaded guilty in October to be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, and both sentences will be served at the same time.
“Mr. Kueng was not simply an outsider that day. He did less than some bystanders tried to do to help Mr. Floyd,” said Matthew Frank, who is leading the prosecution effort for the Minnesota attorney general’s office.
Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, when another Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, He was handcuffed and held on his neck for more than 9 minutes while Floyd kept saying he couldn’t breathe and bystanders begged the officer to stop.
Keung was one of three other officers present at the scene, and he knelt on Floyd’s back while Chauvin knelt on his neck.
Floyd’s death has sparked outrage and helped spark a massive protest movement demanding racial justice and greater police accountability, with thousands joining protests around the world.
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Floyd’s family, said in a statement ahead of Friday’s hearing that Kueng’s sentence “brings another piece of justice to the Floyd family.”
Crump said: “While the family faces another holiday break without George, we hope that moments like these will continue to bring them some peace, knowing that his death will continue to be. George is not in vain.
In February, Keung and officers Tou Thao and Thomas Lane were guilty in federal court violated Floyd’s civil rights and deprived him of his medical care.
They received prison sentences of two and a half to three and a half years, and a plea agreement by Keung means he will serve a three-and-a-half year sentence on state charges concurrently with a three-year sentence. its federal year. .
In his state plea, Keung admitted that he knew from his training that restraining a handcuffed person in a prone position carries serious risks and that the use of this technique for Floyd is not reasonable under the circumstances.
Chauvin received a 21 years jail sentence in July on federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights. He was also convicted last year to 22.5 years in prison after being convicted of murder in a state case.