In the upcoming trial of the police officers charged with the killing of George Floyd, one of the police officers going on trial is expecting to claim self-defense for his role in the tragic death, according to NBC News.
J. Alexander Kueng, one of the four officers present at the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis, is charged with aiding and abetting an unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Kueng, who is also Black, “intends to rely upon” the doctrines of self-defense, reasonable use of force, and authorized use of force at trial.
According to Law and Crime:
“The first defense Kueng says he will employ at trial is self-defense. Under Minnesota common law, the defendant has the burden of proving the core self-defense claim; then, “the state has the burden of disproving one or more of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In addition, “the second defense Kueng plans to use is a reasonable use of force,” while the third defense Kueng will use “is authorized use of force by a police officer.” Under Minnesota law, “reasonable force may be used upon or toward the person of another without the other’s consent” under certain circumstances, which relevantly include when a police officer is “effecting a lawful arrest” or “executing any other duty imposed upon the public officer by law,” or “when used by any person in resisting or aiding another to resist an offense against the person,” or “when used by any person to prevent the escape, or to retake following the escape, of a person lawfully held on a charge or conviction of a crime.”
Kueng, 26, who was only working his third shift as a rookie police officer, was arrested and charged with aiding and abetting murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter for not stopping police officer Derek Chauvin from killing Floyd. Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, leading to his death.
Fellow ex-police officer Thomas Lane was released on bail on June 10. Both ex-officers Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder, and Tou Thao, the police officer seen on video holding back civilians who were trying to stop Chauvin from killing Floyd, remain in custody.
All four ex-cops were present at the most recent court appearance on June 29.