J. Alexander Kueng, 26, was one of four fired Minneapolis police officers charged in connection to George Floyd's May 25 death

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 20, 2020 12:45 PM
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From left: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/AP/Shutterstock

A second of the four ex-Minneapolis police officers facing charges in connection with the killing of George Floyd has left jail ahead of trial.

On Friday, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, was released from the Hennepin County Jail on "bond and conditional release," according to jail records. His bail was set at $750,000.

Kueng's charges are listed as second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony, and second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk. He is due in court on June 29.

Thomas Lane, 37, was previously released from jail after posting bond on June 10. The other two former officers, Tou Thao, 34, and Derek Chauvin, 44, remain in custody.

On May 25, Floyd was killed while by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 46-year-old's final moments were captured on-camera, with footage showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck while three other officers watched without any apparent protest, even as Floyd said repeatedly that he couldn't breathe and pleaded for the officer to stop.

Ex-officers Lane and Thao, who did not intervene, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter on June 3. Chauvin's charges were upgraded to include second-degree murder.

George Floyd

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During a court appearance earlier this month, Kueng's attorney argued that his client was relatively new to the police force, which he joined because he "wanted to make his community a better place," the Associated Press reported.

On May 31, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo spoke with CNN during local protests amid nationwide outrage over Floyd's killing. He said at the time that the three officers were "complicit" in Floyd's death for not stepping in.

"Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit," Arradondo said. "Silence and inaction — you're complicit. You're complicit. If there were one solitary voice that would have intervened ... that's what I would have hoped for."

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Arradondo said he had "never experienced" anything like this case in his career, and viewing the footage of the encounter gave him a "visceral" reaction. He said the decision to fire all four officers was clearcut in his mind.

"There are absolute truths in life ... the killing of Mr. Floyd was an absolute truth that it was wrong," Arradondo said at the time. "I did not need days or weeks or months or processes or bureaucracies to tell me that what occurred out here last Monday was wrong."

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

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which 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 (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.