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 bullsh– 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 manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
The other three officers at the scene have also been fired.
Freeman did not have immediate details, but said a criminal complaint would be made available later. The charges come after three days of protests, which had been escalating in violence.
As protests continue in the city of Minneapolis, outrage has been heard from across the United States following the death of the 46-year-old Floyd on Monday.
“We can’t love forever and the hate is coming out and I’m afraid,” Jackson said during the rally. “I’m honestly afraid because I know what comes from hate, from us, and I know why y’all are so scared. Because y’all are scared that we’re going to pull a you on you. I know why y’all are scared. Y’all have been doing us wrong for so long, y’all think karma’s going to hit you right back.
“But we’re going to do this s— right and it ain’t gonna stop. I don’t have no more tears honestly. I’ve cried enough. I’ve cried enough. I’m here for one reason. For my brother’s honor.”
Jackson has shared a number of social media posts defending him since his death. He appeared at the rally in a black hoodie with the words: “RIP GEORGE FLOYD 3rd Ward, TX.”
“He was murdered in broad daylight for the world to see,” Jackson said. “… So where do we go from here? We’re going to the front line and anything you see, so be it, so be it, so be it. I want you to see it because this is real pain. How can you tell people to stop doing what they’re doing when all you have to do is have common sense? Common sense ain’t common.
“Common sense is not common. I walk right here and smack this man right behind his camera and common sense will say we all saw him slap him. Am I right? Everybody in here will say we saw him slap him. Everybody saw it. So everybody didn’t see that this man killed my brother? Common sense ain’t common. It’s a new day.”
ESPN’s Eric Woodyard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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