J. Alexander Kueng, one of two former Minneapolis police officers (and the only Black one), watched as Derek Chauvin, a white ex-cop, kneel into 46-year-old George Floyd’s neck until he took his last breath on May 25.
Following Floyd’s tragic death, protests erupted right in the heart of the city calling for the arrest of Chauvin, Tou Thou, Thomas Lane and Kueng, including two of Kueng’s sisters, Taylor and Radiance, The New York Times reports.
Taylor, 21, who has had a bad experience with the Minneapolis Police Department herself, is a longtime Black Lives Matter supporter.
On June 5, she appeared with the head of the Minneapolis N.A.A.C.P. and spoke on the killing of Floyd and police brutality.
When the video of Floyd’s final minutes surfaced, Kueng’s other sister, Radiance, 21, re-posted the tragic moment to her page captioning, “Just broke my heart.”
“I don’t care if it was his third day at work or not,” Radiance said. “He knows right from wrong.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Radiance announced plans to change her last name because she does not want to be associated with her brother’s inaction to step in as a Black man.
The New York Times further reports that the Kueng’s grew up in Shingle Creek neighborhood in north Minneapolis. When Kueng asked his mother, Joni Kueng, for siblings, she signed up with a Black adoption agency and adopted Taylor, Radiance and two boys.
According to Radiance, their adoptive mother did not talk about race.
“Race was not really a topic in our household, unfortunately,” she said. “For her adopting as many Black kids as she did — I didn’t get that conversation from her. I feel like that should have been a conversation that was had.”
Kueng attended Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York to play soccer and study business. He quit after getting injured and headed back home. To support himself, he took a loss prevention job at Macy’s and started talking about joining the police.
His mother said she was nervous due to the troubled relationship between the Minneapolis police and residents, however, Mr. Kueng had his intentions set on enacting change from the inside.
“He said, ‘Don’t you think that that needs to be done from the inside?’” his mother remembered him asking after watching protesters block a highway years ago. “That’s part of the reason why he wanted to become a police officer — and a Black police officer on top of it — is to bridge that gap in the community, change the narrative between the officers and the Black community.”
In a statement on Wednesday (June 24), Minneapolis Chief Medaria Arradondo called Floyd’s death “murder” and believes Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder, knew what he was doing.
“Mr. George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there,” he said. “Chauvin knew what he was doing.”
Kueng and Lane have both bonded out of jail, while Thao and Chauvin remain behind bars. Thao, Kueng and Lane have all been charged with aiding and abetting.
Keung was recently spotted at a local grocery store and was confronted by a shopper while getting some “necessities.”
“I don’t think you should have that right,” a woman can be heard on a video telling the disgraced officer. “I don’t even think you should be out on bail.”
“I can understand that,” he replied. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
All four officers are due in court on Monday (June 29).