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Ex-Cop who kneeled on George Floyd’s back sentenced to prison

A former Minneapolis cop who kneeled on George Floyd’s back while another officer kneeled on his neck has been sentenced to prison for his participation on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Other cop involved in George Floyd’s death pleads guilty to manslaughter

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes, wasn’t the only cop involved in keeping him down while he repeatedly pleaded: “I can’t breathe.” There were two others.

Ex-Minneapolis cop J. Alexander Kueng was kneeling on George Floyd’s back during the incident while then-officer Thomas Lane held Floyd’s legs. All three were directly involved until George eventually went limp in the arrest that turned fatal in May 2020, PBS reported.

In October 2022, J. Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty to a state count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, the Associated Press reported. In exchange for his guilty plea, a charge of murder was dropped.

As part of the plea agreement, Kueng confessed that he held Floyd’s torso. He admitted he knew, from his experience and training, that restraining a handcuffed person in a prone position created a substantial risk and that Floyd’s restraint was unreasonable under the circumstances.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was found guilty on three counts in Floyd’s death: Second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years, ABC reported.

Second cop involved in George Floyd’s death sentenced to prison

On Friday, December 9, 2022, J. Alexander Kueng, 29, received his sentencing. He received a sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison.

Kueng is already serving a federal sentence for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. His new state charge for manslaughter will be served simultaneously with his federal sentence.

However, with credit for time served, and in consideration of the different parole guidelines in the state in federal systems, experts say he will likely serve a total of 2 1/2 years behind bars.

Third cop involved in restraining George Floyd

The third former Minneapolis police officer involved in restraining George Floyd, Thomas Lane, was convicted in February on federal charges of depriving George Floyd of his civil rights – specifically, his right to medical care – is serving his 2 1/2-year federal sentence at a facility in Colorado. He also pled guilty to state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to three years in a state sentence, both of which are being served concurrently.

Fourth officer yet to face judge on state charges

A fourth former Minneapolis police officer involved in the incident, Tou Thao, 34, who kept bystanders from intervening, is also serving a 3 1/2-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. Thao has waived a jury trial and will have his state charges decided by a judge, who is set to review the evidence received by November 17, and will then have 90 days to decide the case, MPR News reported.