In October, Kueng, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting in a second-degree manslaughter – part of an agreement with prosecutors over his role in the fatal May 2020 arrest – The Shade Room reported at the time.
In comparison, the officer who had his knee on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, received decades of prison time for his role in Floyd’s death.
Officer’s Plea Deal Comes As Jury Selection Was Set To Begin For Trial, Sentencing To Take Place Today
A second count of aiding and abetting in second-degree unintentional murder will be dismissed as a part of Kueng’s plea deal.
The plea agreement was announced just as jury selection was to begin for a joint state trial for Kueng and another officer, Tou Thao, 34, the outlet reports. Kueng is now the second officer involved in Floyd’s death “to accept responsibility through a guilty plea.”
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — J. Alexander Kueng, officer who helped restrain George Floyd, convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights. pic.twitter.com/ecgeXKoG05
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 24, 2022
“J. Alexander Kueng is now the second officer involved in Floyd’s death to accept responsibility through a guilty plea. That acknowledgement hopefully can bring comfort to Floyd’s family and bring our communities closer to a new era of accountability and justice,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in an October statement on the plea deal.
“We must never forget the horror of what we all saw in that 9-minute video, and that there rightfully should be both accountability for all involved as well as deep lessons learned for police officers and communities everywhere,” said the legal team for George Floyd’s family, led by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, in an October statement on Kueng’s plea deal in October.
Thugs. Criminals. Murderers.
J. Alexander Kueng
Derek Chauvin pic.twitter.com/vs8kRS0g7i
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 4, 2020
Kueng Currently Serving Federal Sentences After Being Convicted In February Of Violating Floyd’s Civil Rights
Meanwhile, Kueng and Thao are currently serving federal sentences since being convicted in February on charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Both former officers were ultimately found guilty of depriving Floyd of his “constitution right to be free from an officer’s unreasonable force when each willfully failed to intervene to stop… Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force.”
Thao’s state charges will be decided by a judge and had waived a jury trial. According to MPR News, Judge Peter Cahill will review evidence received by November 17 and has 90 days to decide that case.
A third former Minneapolis police officer, Thomas Lane, was similarly convicted on federal vicil rights charges related to Floyd’s death, and has pleaded guilty to state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Officer Who Held Knee To Floyd’s Neck Similarly Found Guilty, Sentenced To Decades In Prison
Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck, was also found guilty in his death on counts of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin, who was filmed pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, has been sentenced to 22.5 years.
He was also sentenced to 21 years on federal civil rights charges stemming from Floyd’s death.