Former Minneapolis police officer J Alexander Kueng (left) enters the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, July 21, 2020, with his attorney for a hearing. (JIM MONE / AP)
WASHINGTON – A former police officer of Minneapolis in the US state of Minnesota on Monday pleaded guilty in the death of African American man George Floyd.
J Alexander Kueng, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting in manslaughter after prosecutors and Kueng's defense attorney agreed to recommend a sentence of 42 months in prison.
Kueng is the second to plead guilty to the state charge, following his former colleague Thomas Lane, who pleaded guilty earlier this year.
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A third former officer, Tou Thao, previously rejected a plea deal and agreed on Monday to go forward with a trial by stipulated evidence on one count of aiding and abetting manslaughter.
This handout photo provided by the Hennepin County Jail and received by AFP on June 3, 2020 shows J Alexander Kueng booking photos face and profile. (PHOTO / HANDOUT / HENNEPIN COUNTY JAIL / AFP)
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement that J Alexander Kueng's guilty plea "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 a statement that Kueng's guilty plea "hopefully can bring comfort to Floyd's family and bring our communities closer to a new era of accountability and justice."
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after an encounter with Minneapolis police, during which officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. Kueng, Lane, and Thao were also present and on duty.
Chauvin was sentenced in a federal court to 21 years in prison earlier this summer for violating Floyd's civil rights.
The sentence is running concurrently with Chauvin's state sentence of 22.5 years after he was convicted for second and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd's death sparked outrage and protests across the United States in the summer of 2020 against police brutality and systemic racism.
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