Former Minneapolis officer pleads guilty in George Floyd killing

By The Associated Press

Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng in Minneapolis on June 29, 2020. (Kerem Yucel / AFP via Getty Images file)

A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Monday to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd just as jury selection was about to begin, while another ex-officer was still headed to trial.

The plea deal for J. Alexander Kueng calls for 3½ years in prison, with prosecutors agreeing to drop a count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Kueng is the second officer to have pleaded guilty to the state charge, following Thomas Lane, who pleaded guilty this year.

Their former colleague Tou Thao rejected a plea deal this year, telling a judge it “would be lying” to accept any such deal. Jury selection for Thao was expected to begin later 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 2½ years in the federal case. Kueng was sentenced to three years and Thao was sentenced to 3½. For some Floyd family members and activists, the penalties were too small.

More about this ruling.

Floyd’s murder energized the Black Lives Matter movement and has prompted police reform.

ABHM’s breaking news page includes more BLM coverage.

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