One Of The Police Officers At The Scene Of George Floyd’s Killing Is A Nigerian Man
One of the black police officers at the scene of the killing of George Floyd by a white officer in Minneapolis in May has a Nigerian father.
Alex Kueng who joined the police largely because he believed diversity could force change in a Police Department long accused of racism,
New York Times reported that Mr Floyd, whose name has been painted on murals and scrawled on protest signs, has been laid to rest. Mr Kueng, who faces charges of aiding and abetting in Mr Floyd’s death, is out on bail, hounded at the supermarket by strangers and denounced by some family members.
Long before Mr 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 force 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 demonstrations 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 demonstrated against the police after Mr Floyd’s killing on May 25, Mr 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 Mr Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, has been most widely associated with the case. He faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter; Mr Kueng and two other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting the killing. At 26, Mr Kueng was the youngest and least experienced officer at the scene, on only his third shift as a full officer.
The arrest of Mr Kueng, whose mother is white and whose father was from Nigeria, has brought anguish to his friends and family. “It’s a gut punch,” Ms 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.”
Two of Mr Kueng’s siblings, Taylor and Radiance, both of whom are African-American, called for the arrests of all four officers, including their brother. They joined protests in Minneapolis.
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.