J. Alexander Kueng is one of the four former Minneapolis police officers being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for the role he played in the death of George Floyd.
Kueng was fired after a video of Floyd’s death showed then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of his neck for seven minutes as a handcuffed Floyd begged for help, told him and other officers that he couldn’t breathe and eventually became nonresponsive.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kueng Wanted To ‘Make His Community A Better Place’ As A Police Officer, ABC Reported
According to the Star Tribune, Kueng was black and raised by a single mother “on Minneapolis’s predominately black north side.” Kueng attended the University of Minnesota, where he worked at the campus security force part-time, and graduated in 2018, ABC-7 reported. He also worked for Macy’s as a theft-prevention officer for three years.
The Star Tribune reported that Kueng became a police officer to “make his community a better place.” Although Kueng was a rookie, he and Lane became full-fledged officers in February 2019, according to police records the Star Tribune said it had obtained; they became officers in December.
Kueng, at age 26, was the youngest of the four officers had finished his year of required probation three months before he responded to the Floyd arrest, ABC-7 reported. His personnel file, notes that he speaks, reads and writes Russian, and did not include any commendations or disciplinary actions.
Kueng Was One of the First Officers on the Scene
Kueng and Lane showed up to the scene and spoke to the employees who had called the police, who told them the man who “passed the counterfeit $20 bill was parked in a car around the corner,” according to the criminal complaint.
Lane’s body camera shows Kueng approaching the passenger side of Floyd’s car where another male was seated and speaking to him, according to the complaint. As that was taking place, Lane ordered Floyd out of the car and handcuffed him and spoke to him briefly as he was seated on the sidewalk. Kueng then stood Floyd up and walked him to the squad car when Floyd stiffened and fell to the ground, telling officers “that he was not resisting but did not want to get in the back seat and was claustrophobic.”
It is after that when Chauvin and Thao arrived on the scene.
Kueng helped pull Floyd out of the car from the passenger side and held his back once he was on the ground as Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck. After Floyd became unresponsive, Kueng checked Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.”
Kueng’s Defense Attorney Asked for Bail To Be Lowered
Kueng’s defense attorney, Thomas Plunkett, asked the judge to set bail at $50,000-$200,000 and offered condolences to Floyd’s family at the arraignment hearing, according to CNBC.
Plunkett also mentioned that Kueng was very new to the force and had not completed his third shift as a when he responded to the 911 call, according to CNBC. He also said that Kueng was concerned about Floyd and tried to stop what was happening by telling his fellow officers, “You shouldn’t do this.”