Former police officer charged in George Floyd's death pleads guilty
One of two former Minneapolis police officers set to stand trial on criminal charges filed in connection with George Floyd's murder changed his plea to guilty Monday morning.
What's happening: J. Alexander Kueng agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
- Under a plea deal, Kueng would serve 3 1/2 years in prison under a plea deal, and prosecutors agreed to drop one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement.
- Fellow former Minneapolis Police Department officer Tou Thao agreed on Monday to a trial by stipulated evidence, meaning he waived his right to a jury and to testify. A judge will decide the verdict in the case.
The big picture: The reversal came as jury selection was set to begin in the state criminal trial for Kueng and Thao.
- The two officers, who were with Derek Chauvin on the day of Floyd's May 2020 killing, had been charged with aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.
Context: Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes, was convicted of murder in April 2021. He pleaded guilty to separate, federal civil rights charges that December and is serving a sentence of more than 20 years.
- Kueng and Thao, along with former officer Thomas Lane, were convicted in January of violating Floyd's civil rights by failing to intervene. All three are appealing the charges.
- Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting manslaughter in May and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years.
Of note: Kueng and Thao had previously rejected a plea deal.
- Thao, who told the court that pleading guilty would be a "lie and a sin," has not changed his plea, per the Star Tribune.
What they're saying: "J. Alexander Kueng is now the second officer involved in Floyd's death to accept responsibility through a guilty plea," Ellison said in a statement.
- That "hopefully can bring comfort to Floyd's family and bring our communities closer to a new era of accountability and justice," he added.