J. Alexander Kueng, a former Minneapolis cop, agreed to plead guilty to George Floyd’s murder just hours before the jury selection was to begin Monday.
Kueng pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in exchange for his plea. Kueng the former officer’s sentencing date will be decided later. However, he will likely receive at least 42 months of imprisonment to go along with his federal sentence.
Tou Thao, another ex-officer involved in the arrests, decided to waive his right to a jury. Judge Peter Cahill will instead decide Thao’s case on the basis of existing evidence. Thao also gave up his right to ask witnesses to testify. He could be sentenced to 41 to 57-month of imprisonment if he is found guilty.
Prosecutors stated that they would not pursue Thao’s murder charges if he was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter.
In February, Kueng and Thao were convicted by a federal court of violating Floyd’s civil rights. Thao is currently serving three-and-a-half years in federal prison, while Kueng is serving three years for federal convictions.
On Monday, Keith Ellison, Minnesota Attorney General, stated, “His thoughts were with George Floyd and his family. Floyd should still be with us. Every day, I think about Floyd and his family.”
Ellison pointed out that Kueng is the second officer to plead guilty in the incident.
J. Alexander Kueng, now the second officer in Floyd’s death, to plead and be found guilty. Ellison stated, “This acknowledgment can hopefully bring comfort to Floyd’s family and bring our community closer to a new era of accountability and justice.”
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd (46), was taken to Minneapolis Police and died. The incident was captured by cell phone cameras. Kueng was seen kneeling on Floyd’s chest while Thao was standing around to stop passers-by from intervening.
Kueng admitted that he held Floyd down while handcuffed as part of his plea agreement. Kueng admitted that he was trained in restraint and that it could be dangerous. However, he said that it was not reasonable under the circumstances.
Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, stated Monday that it was great to bring these cases to a just resolution. This is true for all parties involved, including Mr. Floyd’s loved ones, potential witnesses, the community, and public safety.