One of the Minneapolis police officers at the scene of George Floyd’s killing by a white officer in Minnesota last month is a Nigerian.
Alex Kueng who joined the police largely because he believed diversity could force change in a Police Department long accused of racism.
Onyxnews Nigeria quoted New York Times, making confirmation that Floyd, whose name has been painted on murals and scrawled on protest signs, has been buried. And Kueng, who faces charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death, is out on bail, held at the supermarket by strangers and denounced by some family members.
Long before Kueng was arrested, he had wrestled with the issue of police abuse of black people, joining the force in part to help protect people close to him from police aggression. He argued that diversity could impose change in a Police Department long accused of racism.
He had seen one sibling arrested and treated poorly, in his view, by sheriff’s deputies. He had found himself defending his decision to join the police force, saying he thought it was the best way to fix a broken system. He had clashed with friends over whether public protest could actually make things better.
“He said, ‘Don’t you think that that needs to be done from the inside?’” his mother, Joni Kueng, recalled him saying after he watched 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.”
As hundreds of thousands of people who protested against the police after Floyd’s killing on May 25, Kueng became part of a national debate over police violence toward black people, a symbol of the very sort of policing he had long said he wanted to stop.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes, has been most widely linked with the case. He faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter; Kueng and two other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting the killing.
26-year-old Kueng who was the youngest and least experienced officer at the scene, was on only his third shift as a full officer.
The arrest of Kueng, whose mother is white and whose father was from Nigeria, has brought pain to his friends and family. “It’s a gut punch,” Kueng said. “Here you are, you’ve raised this child, you know who he is inside and out. We’re such a racially diverse family. To be wrapped up in a racially motivated incident like this is just unfathomable.”
Kueng’s siblings, Taylor and Radiance, both of whom are African-American, joined protests in Minneapolis. They also called for the arrests of all four officers, including their brother.
Source: Onyx News
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