Former NBA player Stephen Jackson spoke at a rally Friday afternoon in Minneapolis in remembrance of his friend George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in police custody after pleading that he could not breathe.
“I’m here because they’re not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin,” Jackson told supporters. “A lot of times, when police do things they know that’s wrong, the first thing they try to do is cover it up, and bring up their background — to make it seem like the bulls— that they did was worthy. When was murder ever worthy? But if it’s a black man, it’s approved.
“You can’t tell me, when that man has his knee on my brother’s neck — taking his life away, with his hand in his pocket — that that smirk on his face didn’t say, ‘I’m protected.’ You can’t tell me that he didn’t feel that it was his duty to murder my brother, and that he knew he was gonna get away with it. You can’t tell me that wasn’t the look on his face.”
Jackson, a 14-year NBA veteran who became friends with Floyd while growing up in Texas, spoke along with actor Jamie Foxx and others at the rally, which was held at the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda and also attended by Timberwolves players Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie.
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
A person convicted of third-degree murder in Minnesota may be sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum of 25 years. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend 12½ years for a conviction on the murder count and four years on the manslaughter charge.