J. Alexander Kueng might be the only truly inexperienced defendant in the George Floyd murder case. When he was arraigned, his attorney Thomas Plunkett argued that Kueng was working just his third shift as a police officer. That is true, but according to his personnel files (see PDF link above this article) he was employed as a "Security Monitor" at the University of Minnesota when he was hired and he worked as an "Asset Protection Detective" at Macy's for almost three years before that, so how inexperienced is he really?
Does the University of Minnesota Department of Public Safety (UMPD) train people to put their knees on people's necks? Do they train people to stand by and do nothing while a more experienced employee commits a felony against a member of the public? Probably not. Campus security guards in most states are considered public safety officers under the law because they are employed by the state to perform police duties on public university campuses. They usually do not carry guns, but they almost always have non-lethal weapons like pepper spray. Plunkett's reliance on Kueng's inexperience at his new job is misleading given Kueng's experience doing police work elsewhere.
Kueng's duties as a security guard at Macy's included apprehending shoplifters, so his training at Macy's is highly relevant to his defense in this case. How does Macy's train their security guards? Do they train them to put their knees on people's necks while apprehending shoplifters? If they do then Kueng was just helping Derek Chauvin do what he was trained to do, but Macy's probably does not do that. An in depth review of the training program at Macy's would probably show that they train their security guards to know what not to do to keep the company from getting sued. Odds are that Kueng would have known during his days as a security guard that any co-worker that treated a shoplifter the way George Floyd was treated by Derek Chauvin would be doing the wrong thing. Would he intervene in such a case or just say that he was following the lead of a more experienced co-worker?
Unlike Thomas Lane, Kueng is not quoted in the criminal complaint as questioning Chauvin at all. Is this proof of Kueng's indifference or inexperience? It could be that Kueng cared so little for Floyd that he didn't care what Chauvin did to him, but it is also possible that his silence is a sign of not knowing any better. That is his defense in this case as his lawyer hinted at his arraignment. That his client was too inexperienced to question the lead of two veterans and another slightly more experienced rookie.
Public records contain the following information about J Alexander Kueng:
J ALEXANDER KUENG
5052 VINCENT AVE N
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55430-3344
FROM ARREST DATA
4350 Trenton Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55442