Ex-Cop Sentenced Who Kneeled on George Floyd's Back During Killing Sentenced to 3.5 Years

An attorney for George Floyd's family said that Friday's sentencing "delivers yet another piece of justice for the Floyd family" after he was killed on May 25, 2020, while in police custody

Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in state prison for his role in George Floyd's death.

Kueng, 29, declined the opportunity to address the court ahead of Friday's sentencing, according to the Associated Press, after he pleaded guilty to one state count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in October.

Attorneys for Kueng and Floyd's family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Ben Crump, the attorney who represents Floyd's family, said in a statement ahead of the hearing that the sentencing "delivers yet another piece of justice for the Floyd family," according to CNN.

Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng, left, and his attorney Thomas Plunkett arrive for sentencing for violating George Floyds civil rights outside the Federal Courthouse
David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images

"While the family faces yet another holiday season without George, we hope that moments like these continue to bring them a measure of peace, knowing that George's death was not in vain," Crump continued.

Kueng's attorney Thomas Plunkett blamed Minneapolis Police Department and Chief Medaria Arradondo for their lack of training and leadership.

Ex-Cop Sentence to 3.5 Years in George Floyd Death to Serve Concurrent with Federal Sentence
George Floyd, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/ap

"Mr. Kueng, the rookie, sits in prison one year for every day he served the city," Plunkett said, according to AP. "Justice has become nothing more than mean-spirited revenge."

After he kneeled on Floyd's back when he died May 25, 2020 death, Kueng took a plea deal that dropped the aiding and abetting murder charge against him, ABC News reported.

people raise their fists as they march during an event in remembrance of George Floyd in Minneapolis
KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

In July, Kueng and fellow officer Tou Thao were sentenced to three years and three-and-a-half years, respectively, for "depriving [Floyd] of his Constitutional rights." The pair was convicted of violating Floyd's civil rights, along with fellow ex-officer Thomas Lane, in February.

Kueng will serve his state and federal sentences at the same time, and with time served, he will likely serve two-and-a-half years, AP reports.

Derek Chauvin, the White officer who pinned his knee to Floyd's neck for about nine minutes, received the heftiest sentence of 22.5 years in prison after he was convicted of all charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

RELATED VIDEO: Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years in Prison for Murder of George Floyd

Chauvin, 46, was also sentenced to 21 years in federal prison in July after pleading guilty to violating Floyd's civil rights.

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Floyd, 46, was killed on May 25, 2020, while being detained by the officers for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a corner Minneapolis market. His killing sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests around the world over the systemic racism and police brutality against Black people.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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